‘Ottawa’ Capital Voices: ‘I’ve Driven the Prime Minister and the Crackhead’
In anticipation of Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations, the Citizen’s Bruce Deachman has been out in search of Ottawans — 150 of them — to learn their stories of life and death, hope and love, obsession and fear. From Feb. 2 until Canada Day, we’ll share one person’s story every day.
“I’ve lived for 30 years in this country and I’ve worked for 27 years with Blue Line Taxi. In those years, I’ve driven everybody. I’ve driven the prime minister and the crackhead. And I’m happy in 2017 that the prime minister has nominated a Somali (as a minister) — born in Somalia. I’m proud, and this is a beautiful country to live, and has to be a role model for our kids. They have to get out and get involved in politics, local and federal. And that’s what I am pushing.
“I wasn’t surprised that it happened. This is a beautiful country, and I knew that it would happen. This is the first (Somali) minister that we have, and he’s going to be a role model for a lot of immigrants. Not only Somalis. So we can show the kids: See what happened? This guy came here when he was 16 years old. And if you succeed, you will get a position. But you have to work hard, you have to get involved, get out and get involved with politics. Local, municipal, federal.”
— Awais Hassan Muhammad. Billings Bridge Shopping Centre, Jan. 11, 2017.