Finding Refuge in Canada: A Syrian Resettlement Story

Mohamad Al Ziab, Recently arrived from Syria via Lebanon with his family, NEEDS Centre

Mohamad Al Ziab, arrived from Syria via Lebanon with his family, NEEDS Centre

The Syrian refugee crisis still dominates international headlines as Canada continues to welcome 25,000 from the region. The Department of Political Science presents Finding Refuge in Canada: A Syrian Resettlement Story A UWinnipeg Community Conversation with Canadian Senators Salma Ataullahjan and Jim Munson. The event is on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm in Room 1L12 (1st floor Lockhart Hall), UWinnipeg. This event is free and is open the the public. 

“The event is designed so that Canadian politicians, members of Manitoba’s refugee-serving community, and researchers can discuss the complex issue of refugee re-settlement”, said Dr.Ray Silvius, (political science).  “UWinnipeg is well positioned to serve as the hub for such discussions moving forward.”

This ‘conversation’ is in line with the community-based research that Silvius and others are doing on refugee housing and re-settlement in Winnipeg.  It is supported by the Manitoba Research Alliance and as part of the Migration in Remote and Rural Areas (MIRRA) network within the Rural Policy Learning Commons.  Both initiatives are funded by Social Sciences Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Senator Salma Ataullahjan photo supplied

Senator Salma Ataullahjan photo supplied

Ataullahjan arrived in Canada as a young bride in the early 80s, from Pakistan, and settling in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). After more than 30 years in the GTA, she has made a lasting impression in the community because of her commitment and dedication to others. A natural consensus builder, Ataullahjan has been actively involved in several organizations, notably The Citizens Foundation, Canadian Pashtun Cultural Association, and South Asian Regional Council of Canada.

Ataullahjan was appointed to the Canadian Senate in the summer of 2010 as a representative for the province of Ontario. As the first Canadian Senator of Pakistani origin, she stands for the ethnic diversity of all Canadians. In the Senate, Ataullahjan is Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Human Rights and a member of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, as well as the Standing Committee on National Finance.



Senator Jim Munson photo supplied

Senator Jim Munson photo supplied

Munson is best known to Canadians as a trusted journalist and communications advisor. He reported on current affairs for more than thirty years, most notably as a bureau chief and foreign correspondent for CTV News. His reporting touched upon events around the globe – from Belfast to Beijing – including the First Gulf War, the assassination of Indira Gandhi and the Tiananmen Square Massacre. At home, he covered the FLQ crisis in Quebec and later, in Ottawa, every Canadian government and federal election from 1974 onwards. Senator Munson was twice nominated for a Gemini Award in recognition of excellence in journalism.

In 2001, following his career as a reporter, Senator Munson joined the Prime Minister’s Office as a communications advisor and was made Director of Communications the following year. He was called to the Senate on December 10, 2003, to represent the province of Ontario and served as Whip of the Senate Liberal Caucus from 2008 to 2016.

Senator Munson is Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights and a vocal advocate for individuals with an autism spectrum disorder. His leadership in Parliament led to the adoption of An Act respecting World Autism Awareness Day and the landmark Senate report Pay Now or Pay Later: Autism Families in Crisis.


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