“Every year, on December 7, we take time to recognize the special role that international civil aviation plays in bringing us together. This year, we also want to recognize and celebrate the incredible work of the many international civil aviation professionals who responded to the pandemic and helped to keep Canadians and travelers safe.
“We’ve seen amazing efforts from the aviation industry to repatriate citizens displaced by the pandemic; maintain essential supply chains to equip countries and health professionals with critical PPE and lifesaving medication; act as the predominate supply chain to deliver vaccines to countries around the world; maintain essential business travel and reunification of families and, implement strong virus mitigation measures, often acting at the leading edge of public health, testing and vaccination requirements.
“We are proud of our longstanding role as the host country of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal. ICAO’s leadership, along with member states and the international civil aviation industry, have worked diligently on the recovery of the industry. From the dedicated work of the Council Aviation Recovery Task Force to the High-level Conference on COVID-19 in October 2021, Canada looks forward to continuing this important collaboration with ICAO to ensure a stable and lasting global recovery.
“Since 1947, Canada has been working closely with ICAO and its international aviation partners to advance civil aviation priorities in Canada and around the world. The Canada-led Safer Skies Initiative is a prime example of this productive collaboration with partners. We’re working together to improve the safety and security of air travel worldwide by addressing gaps in the way the civil aviation sector deals with conflict zones, to ensure that tragedies like the shooting down of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 never happen again.
“Reducing pollution from the transportation sector, including from domestic and international aviation, is also a priority. Canada has been working with other member states and partners to advance a new long-term goal for greenhouse gas reductions in international aviation, in line with its climate change objective, along with the continued support and participation in the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
“As we prepare to welcome the 41st Session of the ICAO Assembly in 2022, we look forward to another productive year of advancing our shared priorities for global civil aviation safety, security, efficiency, capacity, and environmental protection.”
Omar Alghabra is a Canadian politician who has served as Minister of Transport since 2021. A member of the Liberal Party, he has represented the riding of Mississauga Centre in the House of Commons since the 2015 election. He was previously the Member of Parliament for Mississauga.
Alghabra was born in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia to a Syrian family. His father, an architect, moved their family to Saudi Arabia in 1968. Alghabra has stated that he remembers living a sheltered life there, attending private school, and visiting Syria in the summer. Alghabra completed his high school education at the Dhahran Ahliyya School in Alkhobar. He then moved to Damascus, Syria where he started his Engineering degree at Damascus University. He decided to complete his education in Canada.
Alghabra moved to Toronto when he was 19 years old to attend school. He attended grade 13 to obtain his Canadian high school diploma. Later, he completed his Bachelor of Engineering at Ryerson University.