Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, completed a successful week‑long visit to the United Kingdom (U.K.), Belgium and Germany, where he met with key European partners and stakeholders to discuss global migration trends and speak to how Canada is growing our economy through diversity and immigration.
Minister Hussen highlighted immigration as a powerful economic tool as he led a fireside chat at the University of Oxford, provided the keynote address at a luncheon with the Canada‑U.K. Chamber of Commerce, delivered a speech at the London School of Economics and participated in a roundtable discussion with U.K. businesses that have invested in Canada. Through these events, the Minister outlined how Canada’s multi‑year levels plan and economic programs work to attract top talent to help grow Canada’s economy and meet labour shortages, which are a result of our aging population. The Minister encouraged European leaders and employers to look to immigrants for their innovative perspectives, entrepreneurial spirit, global experience and unique skill sets.
Canada’s humanitarian commitment to refugees was also a key discussion point throughout the trip. During a meeting with the Honourable Sajid Javid, Home Secretary of the U.K., Minister Hussen applauded the leadership the U.K. has shown in piloting a community‑based refugee sponsorship program. Minister Hussen also thanked the U.K. for co‑hosting the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI) Technical Workshop in May 2018 and for supporting the growth of the GRSI.
In Germany, Minister Hussen met with officials from various levels of government, which included bilateral meetings with cabinet members of the German government who are involved in migration issues. The meetings were positive, and Minister Hussen thanked Germany for its leadership in dealing with migration challenges in Europe. While in Berlin, Minister Hussen also had the opportunity to visit the ReDI School of Digital Integration and meet with officials from the betterplace lab, Kiron Open Higher Education, GoVolunteer.ca and Wefugees to learn more about digital technologies and other innovative solutions being developed to facilitate the integration of refugees and newcomers.
Minister Hussen led Canada’s delegation to the Somalia Partnership Forum on behalf of his colleague, the Honourable Marie‑Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development, and participated in bilateral meetings with African officials, including the President of Somalia and the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary‑General to Somalia, to engage with them on matters of mutual interest.