Omar Alghabra

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Omar Alghabra
عمر الغبرا
BBQ avec Omar Alghabra.jpg
Minister of Transport
Assumed office
January 12, 2021[1]
Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau
Preceded byMarc Garneau
Member of Parliament
for Mississauga Centre
Assumed office
October 19, 2015
Preceded byRiding established
Member of Parliament
for Mississauga—Erindale
In office
January 23, 2006 – October 14, 2008
Preceded byCarolyn Parrish
Succeeded byBob Dechert
Personal details
Born (1969-10-24) October 24, 1969 (age 52)
Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Citizenship
  • Canadian
  • Syrian[2]
Political partyLiberal
ResidenceMississauga[3]

Omar Alghabra PC MP (Arabic: عمر الغبرا, romanizedʿUmar al-Ḡabrā; born October 24, 1969) is a Canadian politician who has served as Minister of Transport since 2021. A member of the Liberal Party, he has represented the riding of Mississauga Centre in the House of Commons since the 2015 election. He was previously the Member of Parliament (MP) for Mississauga—Erindale from 2006 to 2008.

Early life

Alghabra was born in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia to a Syrian family. His father, an architect, moved their family to Saudi Arabia in 1968.[4] Alghabra has stated that he remembers living a sheltered life there, attending private school and visiting Syria in the summer.[5] Alghabra completed his high school education at the Dhahran Ahliyya School in Alkhobar. He then moved to Damascus, Syria where he started his Engineering degree at Damascus University. He decided to complete his education in Canada.

Alghabra moved to Toronto when he was 19 years old to attend school. He attended grade 13 to obtain his Canadian high school diploma. Later, he completed his Bachelor of Engineering at Ryerson University.[6]

Alghabra also attended York University, where he graduated with a Master of Business Administration.[6]

Early career

Alghabra’s first job was at Ainsworth Inc. as a Quality Assurance supervisor. He later transitioned to sales and worked as the Predictive Maintenance supervisor.[7] Afterwards, he joined General Electric (GE) as a Six Sigma Black Belt in the Industrial Service Business.[8] He became the Global Business Leader for GE’s Industrial Refurbished Parts business.

After his political defeat in the 2008 general election, Alghabra joined ENBALA Power Networks as their Vice President for Corporate Development.[9] Later, he worked as an advisor to the COO of the Ontario Energy Board on innovation in the utility sector.[7] Alghabra returned to the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science after being appointed a Distinguished Visiting Professor. In this role, he also joined Ryerson’s start-up incubator DMZ as their Executive-in-residence.[9]

Alghabra was the president of the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) in 2004-5. After Alghabra left CAF, the group made controversial statements, and Alghabra condemned those statements.[10]

Political career

Alghabra first took office following the 2006 federal election to the 39th Parliament of Canada, then again in 2015 to the 42nd Parliament of Canada.

When a Member of Parliament retired, Alghabra left General Electric to run as a Liberal candidate for Member of Parliament in the 2006 federal election in the riding of Mississauga—Erindale. He defeated Conservative candidate Bob Dechert by 3,328 votes.[11] After that election there was a Conservative Party minority government, led by Stephen Harper. He was defeated in 2008, and then was elected again in 2015, and re-elected in 2019.

He served as parliament secretary to the minister of foreign affairs (Consular Affairs) from 2015 to 2018 and parliament secretary to the minister of international trade diversification from 2018 to 2019.[9] Alghabra was re-elected in the 2019 federal election. He was appointed as parliament secretary to the prime minister (Public Service Renewal) and parliament secretary to the deputy prime minister and minister of intergovernmental affairs.[12] He was also sworn in as a member of the Privy Council in February 2020.[13] In the Cabinet reshuffle on January 12, 2021, Alghabra became the transport minister, succeeding Marc Garneau.

Following a motion condemning Islamophobia amidst death threats to Muslim MPs, Alghabra stated that his primary concern was his staff who process these messages.[14] He continued that it is important to have a conversation about Islamophobia and that he purposely does not delete comments received on his Facebook page. Alghabra attributes backlash against the motion to a campaign of misinformation and ignorance.[14]

Backbencher

Consular affairs

As Parliament Secretary, Alghabra had a consular affairs file that oversaw 250,000 cases.[5] He worked on the cases on John Ridsdel, Joshua Boyle and helped assisting Canadians stranded by Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean.[5]

Trade

Alghabra was appointed Parliament Secretary to the Minister of International Trade Diversification and served from 2018 to 2019. Alghabra also served on the Standing Committee for International Trade.

Flight 752

Alghabra was tasked with working directly with victim’s families of the Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS752. Alghabra stated that the government is offering legal assistance and exploring forms of interim compensation while they wait for proper compensation to be settled with Iran.[15] Alghabra also announced that Ottawa will match funds raised during the Canada Strong campaign launched to raise $1.5 million for those who lost loved ones when the Ukrainian passenger plane was shot down by Iranian military.[16]

Minister of Transport

Alghabra became Minister of Transport on January 12, 2021, following the resignation of industry minister Navdeep Bains, resulting in a Cabinet shuffle.[17]

Electoral record

2021 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Omar Alghabra 25,714 54.22 –1.54
Conservative Kathy-Ying Zhao 13,390 28.23 –1.30
New Democratic Teneshia Samuel 5,330 11.24 +1.62
People's Elie Diab 2,148 4.53 +2.97
Green Craig Laferriere 864 1.82 –1.24
Total valid votes 47,431
Total rejected ballots 462 0.96
Turnout 47,893 56.32
Eligible voters 85,044
Liberal hold Swing –1.54
Source: Elections Canada[18]
2019 Canadian federal election: Mississauga Centre
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Omar Alghabra 29,974 55.76 +1.04 $93,154.83
Conservative Milad Mikael 15,874 29.53 -4.09 none listed
New Democratic Sarah Walji 5,173 9.62 +0.13 none listed
Green Hugo Reinoso 1,646 3.06 +0.88 $0.00
People's David Micalef 837 1.56 $1,997.84
Independent Greg Vezina 252 0.47 $1,248.05
Total valid votes/expense limit 53,756 100.0  
Total rejected ballots 475
Turnout 54,231 62.3
Eligible voters 87,047
Liberal hold Swing +2.57
Source: Elections Canada[19][20]
2015 Canadian federal election: Mississauga Centre
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Omar Alghabra 28,372 54.72 +20.77
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[21][22][23]
2011 Canadian federal election: 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
2008 Canadian federal election: 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
2006 Canadian federal election: 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. ^ "PM to shuffle cabinet with Navdeep Bains retiring from politics". CTVNews. January 11, 2021.
  2. ^ "Dion Among a Dozen MPs with Dual Citizenships". CBC News. December 8, 2006. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  3. ^ "Official Voting Results". Elections Canada. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  4. ^ "Senator Invokes MP's Birthplace To Question His Judgment On Saudi Spat". HuffPost Canada. August 9, 2018. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c "Syrian-Canadian MP Omar Alghabra's story is one shared by millions". Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Omar Alghabra". OpenCanada. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Our Campaigns - Candidate - Omar Alghabra". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  8. ^ "Interview with Honorable Member Omar Alghabra". Archived from the original on December 21, 2021.
  9. ^ a b c "Omar Alghabra | Team Trudeau". omaralghabra.liberal.ca. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  10. ^ Campbell Clark (January 15, 2021). "The Bloc's sneaky slur against a mild-mannered Muslim MP". The Globe and Mail.
  11. ^ "Election results...riding by riding". The Globe and Mail. January 24, 2006. p. A16.
  12. ^ GmbH, finanzen net. "Prime Minister welcomes new parliamentary secretaries | Markets Insider". markets.businessinsider.com. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  13. ^ Office, Privy Council (December 13, 2019). "Omar Alghabra, Parliamentary Secretary". aem. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Liberals consider help for MPs facing threats, harassment, even death threats". thestar.com. March 5, 2017. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  15. ^ "Garneau says compensation for Flight PS752 victims' families is a 'priority'".
  16. ^ "Ottawa pledges to match funds raised for families of Iran plane crash victims". CityNews Edmonton. January 22, 2020. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  17. ^ "New Transport Minister Alghabra takes on portfolio at a time of crisis" – via The Globe and Mail.
  18. ^ "List of confirmed candidates – September 20, 2021 Federal Election". Elections Canada. Retrieved September 2, 2021.
  19. ^ "List of confirmed candidates". Elections Canada. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  20. ^ "Election night results". Elections Canada. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  21. ^ Canada, Elections. "Voter Information Service - Find your electoral district". www.elections.ca.
  22. ^ Canada, Elections. "Error page". www.elections.ca.
  23. ^ "Federal Election 2015: Mississauga Centre riding results". Global News.

External links

29th Ministry – Cabinet of Justin Trudeau
Cabinet post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Marc Garneau Minister of Transport
January 12, 2021 – present
Incumbent