Omar Alghabra

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Omar Alghabra
MP
Omar alghabra photo.jpg
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Consular Affairs)
Assumed office
December 2, 2015
Minister Stephane Dion
Preceded by David Anderson
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Mississauga Centre
Assumed office
October 19, 2015
Preceded by New riding
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Mississauga—Erindale
In office
January 23, 2006 – October 14, 2008
Preceded by Carolyn Parrish
Succeeded by Bob Dechert
Personal details
Born (1969-10-24) October 24, 1969 (age 46)
Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Political party Liberal
Residence Mississauga, Ontario
Profession Engineer

Omar Alghabra (born October 24, 1969) is a Canadian politician. He is a Liberal member of the Canadian House of Commons who was elected from 2006 to 2008 and again in 2015. He represents the riding of Mississauga Centre. He is a Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs specializing in consular affairs. He is a former president of the Canadian Arab Federation, and was a senior policy adviser to Justin Trudeau.

Background

Alghabra was born in Saudi Arabia into a Syrian family working in Saudi Arabia at that time.[1] He is currently the only Canadian politician of Syrian Canadian descent.[2] He graduated from Ryerson University with a degree in engineering and in 2000 received his Master of Business Administration from York University.

Politics

Alghabra ran as the Liberal candidate in the 2006 federal election in the riding of Mississauga—Erindale. He defeated Conservative candidate Bob Dechert by 3,328 votes.[3] He served as the opposition critic for Citizenship and Immigration, and later for Natural Resources. He was defeated by Dechert in the 2008 election and again in the 2011 election.[4][5] During the 2011 election, the National Post stated that Alghabra promotes himself by "humour and self-deprecation to win over voters. Rather than vilify his opponents, Alghabra is establishing himself in the public mind in a positive sense, before he can be trashed by competitors."[6] The The Globe and Mail commented that Alghabra's "combination of biographical information and self-deprecating humour stands in contrast to the aggressive attack ads currently in rotation on the federal stage."[7]

In the 2015 election he was returned to Parliament as the MP for the recreated riding of Mississauga Centre.[8] During the election, he gained national attention for his campaign's ad that parodied a Conservative attack ad against Justin Trudeau that used a job application as the premise.[9] Later in the campaign, he released a campaign video that parodied the opening sequence of Game of Thrones.[10]

On December 2, 2015, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for consular affairs.[11]

Views

In 2010, Alghabra identified key issues on his platform:[12]

  • Ending poverty in Mississauga; Alghabra states that one out of five children in Mississauga live in poverty
  • Reduce the unemployment rate; Alghabra quotes a 2010 figure of around 10%.
  • Integration of immigrants; Alghabra said he would work towards the recognition of foreign credentials.

On Canadian democracy, Alghabra stated:[12]

I was raised in areas where they don't believe in democracy and civil rights, cultures of equality and justice, and there is no belief that a citizen has the power over their own destiny...now I have a unique appreciation for Canada and what Canada has to offer, so it is that passion about striving to protect the idea and the noble concept of democracy.

Electoral record

Canadian federal election, 2015: Mississauga Centre
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Omar Alghabra 28,372 54.72 +18
Conservative Julius Tiangson 17,431 33.62 -8.06
New Democratic Farheen Khan 4,920 9.49 -9.51
Green Linh Nguyen 1,129 2.18 -0.14
Total valid votes/Expense limit 51,852 100.0   $218,539.24
Total rejected ballots 342
Turnout 52,194
Eligible voters 82,443
Source: Elections Canada[13][14][15]
Canadian federal election, 2011: Mississauga-Erindale
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Bob Dechert 29,793 46.95 +4.24
Liberal Omar Alghabra 21,541 33.95 -8.05
New Democratic Michelle Bilek 10,327 16.27 +7.73
Green John Fraser 1,694 2.67 -3.83
Marxist–Leninist Dagmar Sullivan 99 0.16 -0.07
Total valid votes 63,454 100.00
Total rejected ballots 217 0.34 -0.02
Turnout 63,671 61.61 +5.4
Eligible voters 103,337
Canadian federal election, 2008: Mississauga-Erindale
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Bob Dechert 23,863 42.71 +3.3 $96,559
Liberal Omar Alghabra 23,466 42.00 -2.8 $74,412
New Democratic Mustafa Rizvi 4,774 8.54 -2.6 $1,330
Green Richard Pietro 3,636 6.50 +2.1
Marxist–Leninist Dagmar Sullivan 129 0.23 -0.3
Total valid votes/Expense limit 55,868 100.00 $98,112
Total rejected ballots 203 0.36 -0.06
Turnout 56,071 56.2 -9.9
Canadian federal election, 2006: Mississauga-Erindale
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Omar Alghabra 26,852 44.81 -9.56 $75,892
Conservative Bob Dechert 23,524 39.25 +7.30 $81,890
New Democratic Rupinder Brar 6,644 11.08 +1.26 $3,459
Green Adam Hunter 2,613 4.36 +0.79 $1,484
Independent Ronnie Amyotte 289 0.48 $1,249
Total valid votes/Expense limit 59,922 100.00 $162,852
Total rejected ballots 251 0.42 -0.10
Turnout 60,173 65.5 +6.2

References

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ "Election results...riding by riding". The Globe and Mail. January 24, 2006. p. A16. 
  4. ^ "Greater Toronto Area Results". The Toronto Star. October 15, 2008. p. U2. 
  5. ^ "Riding results from across Canada". Edmonton Journal. May 3, 2011. p. A6. 
  6. ^ "Two approaches to political advertising: Humour versus vilification". National Post. 
  7. ^ Jane Taber. "And now for something completely different in political ads: 'blind puppies' and 'smart pantsery'". Globe and Mail. 
  8. ^ "Canada Votes". The Toronto Star. October 20, 2015. pp. GT13–GT15. 
  9. ^ "The Gargoyle – Liberal candidate responds to Tories' "Just not ready" ad". Ottawa Citizen. 3 June 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015. 
  10. ^ Omar, Mohamed (2 October 2015). "Omar Alghabra, Liberal Candidate, Releases Incredibad 'Game Of Thrones' Ad". Huffington Post Canada. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "Bill Blair, Adam Vaughan among new parliamentary secretaries". www.cbc.ca. Retrieved 2015-12-03. 
  12. ^ a b Saaliha Malik (2010-02-01). "TALKING WITH OMAR ALGHABRA". The Medium. 
  13. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Mississauga Centre, 30 September 2015
  14. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates
  15. ^ Federal Election 2015: Mississauga Centre riding results

External links