I’m running to be your Liberal candidate and next Member of Parliament for Orléans.
I have seen the direct impact of the Liberal government on middle class families like mine. Over the past four years life has become more affordable for families in Orléans and across Canada. But there is still much work to be done. I believe that if our government is going to continue to support and grow the middle class, we must elect more members of the middle class. That is why I am running for the Liberal nomination and to be your next Member of Parliament for Orléans.
I come from humble beginnings, a war-torn country, and a history of adversity. My family left Afghanistan when I was two years old; it took my family ten long years before we finally arrived in Canada. I remember being excited to begin my new life in a place which offered so many rights and freedoms; the right to vote, the freedom to pursue an education, and most importantly the right to purchase a house; one we could call home.
Along my family’s journey to Canada I absorbed new languages and cultures from other nations. After seeing my parents struggle to pass on their language and culture to myself and my siblings, I appreciated the important work that Franco-Ontarians do to ensure the preservation of their language and culture.
Recognizing that Canada is a bilingual country and that Franco-Ontarians are an important part of my community I felt that it was important to learn French. I taught myself French while working full-time and raising my three beautiful children.
I speak five languages but I am most proud of my French and feel a sense of pride when I help my children with their French homework.
My parents instilled in me the value of hard work and a desire to build a better future for my family. That is why my husband and I took turns attending university while the other worked and supported our family. I became a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and despite numerous challenges, we focused on our hope for the future and worked hard. Over ten years ago, we were finally able to purchase our first home in Chapel Hill North, where we continue to live.
Coming from a country that is broken because of politics, I grew up hating politics. Over the years, priorities other than politics always seemed more immediate. Whether it was putting myself through school and becoming a CPA, supporting my husband as he went to school, starting a small business or raising my family; politics was never front and center.
My introduction to politics was when I accepted a non-partisan job on Parliament Hill. My job was to increase financial accountability and transparency at the Senate of Canada where I was responsible for creating the first ever set of audited financial statements for the Senate. Although I worked on Parliament Hill, I remained far away from politics and politicians. It was only when the new Liberal Government formed in 2015 that I realized that politics can actually be positive; that the political landscape is shaped by the people around the table.
I am a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) by profession, and an experienced executive in the federal public service. Having spent several years of my career in the private sector and on Parliament Hill I have gained diverse perspectives in the areas of risk and resource management; financial accountability and transparency; and financial audits.
In addition to my current responsibilities in the Public Service of Canada, I focus on professional training and development, optimal communication strategies, public speaking and change management. In this capacity, I am a member of the Board of Directors for the Financial Management Institute (FMI) and a facilitator for the Canadian Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPAO).
I am also active in the community and volunteer with several organizations including the United Way and the Paul Martin Mentorship Program. I currently serve as a member on the Board of Directors of numerous organizations including the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO), the Canadian Institute of Mass Communications (CIMC), and as the President of the Orléans Federal Liberal Association.