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Omar Alghabra

Former Liberal MP & A Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Ryerson University

Omar Alghabra is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Ryerson University & a former Liberal Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Erindale.
Harper Can't Call Canadians Terrorists and Get Away With

Harper Can't Call Canadians Terrorists and Get Away With It

A prominent Muslim Canadian advocacy group has decided that enough is enough and is suing the Prime Minister and his chief spokesperson. Jason McDonald, Stephen Harper's Communication Director publicly accused the National Council of Canadian Muslims of having "documented links to a terrorist organization" with a straight face and without providing a shred of evidence.
01/28/2014 05:26 EST
Solving Income

Solving Income Inequality

Data shows that widening income inequality in Canada has a direct relationship with globalization. The chart below compares
12/13/2013 11:51 EST
Should Canada Elect, Abolish or Reform the

Should Canada Elect, Abolish or Reform the Senate?

Because of its inherent independence from election cycles, the Senate can provide an indispensable public service that enriches our democracy. Does this mean that we ignore the real problems in the Senate? Definitely not. Reforms are needed. Standards that were tolerated decades ago are no longer acceptable today.
11/16/2013 09:40 EST
Don't Call the Arab Spring a

Don't Call the Arab Spring a Failure

Insisting on getting things "right" the first time is unrealistic. The world shouldn't expect the region to transform overnight. As long as freedoms and honest judiciary are guaranteed, they will act as self-correcting mechanisms that would offer future opportunities to fix previous mistakes.
10/10/2013 05:46 EDT

The "Values Charter" Is Misguided

The calls by the PQ to establish the so-called Values Charter is receiving a lot of attention, deservedly. The PQ government
09/26/2013 05:25 EDT
Has Multiculturalism in Canada Lost Its

Has Multiculturalism in Canada Lost Its Way?

Multiculturalism is not about dwelling on our differences. It is about emphasizing our commonality. Unfortunately that principle gets lost when multiculturalism gets viewed as a foreign phenomenon designed to "tolerate" immigrants. Policies that nurture interaction between the various communities will reduce suspicion and finger-pointing.
08/15/2013 05:28 EDT
The Kind of Government Canadians

The Kind of Government Canadians Ignore

It is often said that municipal governments touch the lives of Canadians more directly than provincial or federal governments, yet Canadians appear to be dramatically less aware of their local government affairs than they are with their provincial and federal governments. How can we reverse this trend?
06/04/2013 12:25 EDT
Are You a Dual Citizen? Kenney's Got Plans for

Are You a Dual Citizen? Kenney's Got Plans for You

If you are a Canadian citizen who holds any other citizenship, you should know that the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is pushing to pass a law that would render you a second class citizen. You may not feel threatened by this bill as you may never see yourself in a position where you would be accused of committing acts of terror or war, but this bill is declaring your citizenship to be worth less than your fellow Canadian.
02/19/2013 12:14 EST
The Voting System That Canada Needs (and

The Voting System That Canada Needs (and Deserves)

Currently, MPs only need to better their opponent by one vote to get elected. In the last general election, the Conservatives won 39.62 per cent of the popular vote but gained 53.90 per cent of the seats. There have been many discussions on how to fix that apparent unfairness. A more practical proposal would be a preferential ballot system.
12/04/2012 05:43 EST
The Best Way to End Election

The Best Way to End Election Scandals

In the almost evenly divided Supreme Court decision on the Etobicoke Centre election case four out of seven judges decided that even though information about some voters was missing, the burden of voter's verification should not be placed on the voter. Suppressing opponents' voters is much easier than trying to convince Canadians why they should vote for you. In fact, it encourages campaign strategists to avoid serious debates and concentrate on demonizing opponents, misleading voters and undermining confidence in our institutions. One effective way to prevent against cynical gamesmanship is to implement mandatory voting.
10/29/2012 12:18 EDT
A Proposal to end the Violence in

A Proposal to end the Violence in Syria

There is no consensus on military intervention among Syrian opposition, neighbouring countries and UN Security Council members. However, everyone including the regime emphasizes how committed they are to ending the violence. The most effective way to stop the violence quickly would be to deploy a multinational peacekeeping force.
09/13/2012 02:40 EDT
A Modest Proposal For

A Modest Proposal For Politicians

The job of a politician is supposed to be one of the most noble in our society where candidates compete to gain our permission to make decisions on our behalf to govern and protect our interests. We need to find creative ways to rebuild confidence in our politicians, and by "we" I mean both the general public and the political class. Here is how it could work.
08/28/2012 03:17 EDT
The Supreme Court Will Send a Message to How Elections Should be

The Supreme Court Will Send a Message to How Elections Should be Run

An electoral scandal has been brought to the Supreme Court, and will be precedent-setting in terms of what politicians can and can't get away with in elections. Some of the questions the Justices will be asking themselves: What kind of message will we be sending to future elections if we choose to ignore those violations? Is Elections Canada justified in its nonchalant attitude towards the occurrence of voting irregularities?
07/12/2012 07:45 EDT
Why More Condos (and More Offices) Could Be a Good

Why More Condos (and More Offices) Could Be a Good Thing

High density neighbourhoods solve many problems when designed to be self-sustained. The idea is that residents barely need to use their cars when going to work or shopping. However, if the high density community contains only residential development where residents need to exit that community to get to work or to shop that is when high density may cause more congestion than it solves. That's why Mississauga needs more downtown office buildings while the getting's good.
07/04/2012 12:37 EDT
Mulcair's Misdiagnosis of Dutch

Mulcair's Misdiagnosis of Dutch "Disease" Won't Help our Economy

Thomas Mulcair's prescription is to make "polluters pay" and that the natural resources industry should fully account for its pollution. And then what? How is that going to reduce pressure on the dollar? How does that help other industries? Does he want to implement a selective "polluter pays" policy that target only the natural resources sector and exclude the manufacturing sector?
05/22/2012 07:39 EDT
How Being a Minority Taught Me

How Being a Minority Taught Me Tolerance

I moved to Canada when I was 19, where I became a member of a small minority and was exposed to other cultures and lifestyles that were alien to me. It was a transformation from the simplicity of being part of a homogeneous dominant culture to the humility of having to explain who you are.
04/03/2012 12:21 EDT
Getting PhD Immigrants Out of Cabs and into Their

Getting PhD Immigrants Out of Cabs and into Their Field

The upcoming federal budget is expected to include major immigration reforms. Successful immigrants are happy immigrants. Successful and happy immigrants are productive members of society. Unhappy and desperate immigrants will search for jobs elsewhere or may resort to finding ways to game the system.
03/14/2012 05:22 EDT
Open Letter to Syrian Opposition

Open Letter to Syrian Opposition Leaders

The opposition has history and justice on its side but needs to be aware that that alone is not enough. Courageous Syrians who are risking their lives on a daily basis seeking dignity deserve leaders who will rise up to the occasion and honour their sacrifices.
02/16/2012 05:08 EST
I am a Liberal. And I am

I am a Liberal. And I am Canadian.

A compelling leadership requires a relevant vision. That's what the Liberal Party historically has provided Canadians. In the last few years, many Liberals have let their memories become greater than their dreams. Canadians want to hear about our dreams more than they want to be educated about our past.
02/09/2012 02:05 EST