Part of the OpenCanada series Stephen Harper’s Persian Problem.
Former Liberal Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Erindale
Omar Alghabra is a long-time resident and community activist in Mississauga. Alghabra completed his Mechanical Engineering degree at Ryerson University. To pay for his formal education, he worked at a donut shop, a gas station and a convenience store, where he received another kind of education. Those experiences allowed him to work with and serve people from all walks of life, and hearing the stories of those Canadians were his first motivations to get involved in the community. Omar went on to earn an MBA from York University. He built his career by taking on several managerial roles at General Electric Canada and other private corporations. He is currently a the President of AT Labs Canada. Since his youth, Omar’s passion for community service grew. He volunteered with organizations like Junior Achievement and encouraged students to stay in school and become socially engaged. He served on the Toronto Star Community Editorial Board and authored columns on both local and national issues. He also dedicated time to supporting initiatives that empowered new Canadians and promoted economic and social integration. Inspired by his first-hand experience of the challenges and opportunities faced by everyday Canadians, Omar’s community service evolved into political activism. In 2006, Omar was elected as Member of Parliament for the riding of Mississauga-Erindale. As an MP Omar championed political accountability, immigration reforms, equal human rights, foreign policy, infrastructure funding, energy and the environment. During his time as MP, Omar helped resolve hundreds of individual problems for local constituents, tabled bills on protecting employee rights and balancing civil liberties with security laws, and pushed for improved funding of Mississauga Transit. In addition to his work for the community, Omar served in the Liberal Shadow Cabinet as Citizenship and Immigration Critic and later as Natural Resources Critic. Omar has always strived to do politics differently. Through his dedication to community work, political activism and pursuit of social change, Omar has proved his ability to making Canada a better place for all, and provided innovative ideas about our future direction.