Canadian politician Kaleed Rasheed is leading the way in bridge-building by facilitating platforms for engagement between citizens and the provincial government of Ontario.
“Politics, for me, is not a career but a public service,” Rasheed said. “I was involved with politics at a grassroots level even while I was working in the private sector. I soon realized I could either sit on the couch and complain about how things were or do something about it.”
Rasheed’s championing and support of various communities, including Muslim communities, has been particulary noteworthy since his election as a Member of the Provincial Parliament (MPP) in 2018. He represents the riding of Mississauga East—Cooksville as a member of the governing Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario.
Canada’s Muslims have made significant contributions to the betterment of the country from their earliest presence that goes back as far as the 19th century
As Muslim communities have grown, so too has their presence in public office with more notable figures spending their careers in the public service.
MPP Kaleed Rasheed’s dream of helping to make Ontario a modern and progressive province led him to enter politics.
SHAPED BY FAITH
Rasheed was raised in a devout Muslim household and the tenets of his faith have come to shape his core values and how he lives his life.
A strong ethic of service runs in the family, inspired by his grandfather, Major Mohammed Aslam Khan, who served in the Second World War and who chose Canada as the place to raise his children and grandchildren.
“In a way, my grandfather is the reason I got into politics,” Rasheed said. “He told me that he wanted us (his grandchildren) to give back to a country that treated him, its veterans and citizens so well. I consider myself his legacy.”
30 years after his grandfather emigrated to Canada, Raheed obtained a degree in Business Administration from the University of Guelph-Humber in 2009 and an MBA from the University of Bradford 3 years later.
He went on to become an account executive at Canada’s tech giant, Blackberry, where he was twice recognized as the ‘Top Enterprise Account Executive’ for his tenacious work ethic and ability to constantly deliver results.
His strong background in technology and leadership helped Rasheed hone his management skills that serve him well as an MPP.
Married with four children, Kaleed has spent many years volunteering with local food banks and other charities, including the Heart and Stroke Foundation and CNIB.
Since his election to Ontario’s legislature, he has been pushing for the province to embrace cutting edge technology to improve efficiency and fulfill the objective of promoting diversity and inclusion.
Kaleed Rasheed has held to the principle that what the Government of Ontario does must be informed by the needs of Ontarians.
He advocates for the government to view citizens and community groups as partners and he has been a leader in promoting community consultation – an approach that has been crucial in the province’s successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic this year.
“The Premier has lent an ear to the people of the province, every great decision he’s made, comes after real dialogue with communities that will be most affected by it,”
said Rasheed of Premier Doug Ford’s response. “The results have led to some great shifts in public policy like recent announced changes to tackling racism and inequity in Ontario schools.”
Rasheed solicited ideas and concerns from faith groups, including from 150 Muslim leaders, on the safe re-opening of places of worship during the pandemic which developed into a successful government proposal for the Chief Medical Officer of the province.
He has been focused on developing a spirit of teamwork and the results speak for themselves.
He has created platforms for Ministers, colleagues and staff to communicate with communities based on their portfolio and expertise and he has been effective in navigating government offices to get important issues in front of the right people to effect change.
For Muslim communities, Kaleed Rasheed has helped organize large iftars with community members and Premier Doug Ford during the month of Ramadan and facilitated the Premier and Ministers participation in events such as MuslimFest, the RIS Conference, the MAC Eid Festival, and ISNA’s COVID-19 drive-thru Iftar.
He has conducted roundtables between community groups and provincial Ministers and the Premier to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on Muslim communities.
He has not only connected local and national Muslim organizations to the Ontario Government, but he also serves as an example for others by championing the raising of over $100,000 for the Mississauga Food Bank by the Muslim community.
Rasheed continues to advise the Premier’s Office on provincial Muslim relations and, through his Mississauga-Cooksville MPP office, supports residents, including Muslims in his riding, as well as across the province.
With a record of service in the Province of Ontario and Canada, MPP Kaleed Rasheed is taking new approaches to governance by amplifying the voices of those whom he represents and applying the values taught by his faith to aid in the development of a modern and progressive society.