I am pleased to announce that I will be joining The Honourable Minister Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage in the role of Parliamentary Secretary, with special responsibility for Multiculturalism in Canada. The rich diversity of Canada is something to celebrate, preserve and protect. I look forward to supporting Minister Joly to implement our government’s plan to promote our unique Canadian identity, and defend the values of inclusion and equity that Canadians hold dear. I’m especially humbled given 2017 marks Canada’s 150th anniversary, where Canadians across the country reflect on what it means to them to be Canadian. The preservation, promotion and enhancement of Indigenous language and culture is a key component in the reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and something I will be honoured to support in the House of Commons and across the country. In my new role as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Heritage, I also look forward to championing the vital social and economic contributions made by our cultural and creative industries.
It has been an absolute pleasure to serve my first year in Parliament with a great Canadian and mentor, the outgoing Minister of Immigration, the Honourable John McCallum, as John’s Parliamentary Secretary. John has dedicated the past 17 years to public service of Canadians, and I wish him all the best in his new role as Ambassador to China. As someone who came to Canada as a refugee from Uganda as a young child it was an incredibly poignant moment to greet the first plane of Syrian refugees to Canada at Pearson airport just over a year ago. I am also particularly proud to have played an important role in implementing our government’s ambitious and compassionate plan to welcome newcomers, which, to date, has involved the arrival of more than 39,671 Syrian refugees to Canada. I wish my colleague and friend the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees all the best in his new role, knowing that he will make significant contributions to the important work of strengthening our identity through diversity.
Member of Parliament for Parkdale—High Park,
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Heritage (Multiculturalism)