Profile of Maryam Monsef: From refugee to cabinet minister
Published Sunday, January 17, 2016 12:21PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, January 17, 2016 2:22PM EST
“I am filled with a tremendous sense of responsibility and a desire to want to serve and give back to the people who helped my family and I feel like we belonged here.”
At the age of 31, Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef is the youngest member of Justin Trudeau’s cabinet.
But beyond her file, Monsef’s insight and experience will also be sought on another important issue for the Liberal government – the arrival and integration of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees.
Monsef was once a refugee herself. At the age of 11, she and her two sisters, with their mother, a widow, fled the repressive regime of the Taliban in Afghanistan. They settled as refugees in Peterborough, Ont.
Twenty years later, Monsef is excited to serve the community who gave so much to her family when they first arrived in Canada.
“We came to Peterborough, Ontario and twenty years later, because of the kindness that the people of this community showed my family and I, I am filled with a tremendous sense of responsibility and a desire to want to serve and give back to the people who helped my family and I feel like we belonged here.”
In addition to her ministerial duties, which include Senate and electoral reform, Monsef is also a member of a cabinet sub-committee tasked with overseeing the Liberals’ goal of bringing 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of February and 10,000 more by the end of 2016.