Toronto’s 50 Most Influential: #11, Ratna Omidvar
Senator; Founder, Lifeline Syria
11As founder of the humanitarian organization Lifeline Syria, Omidvar has helped facilitate the resettlement of almost 200 Syrian refugees in the GTA. The community activist with more than 30 years of experience advocating for immigrants and refugees got a phone call from the PM last April inviting her to sit in the Senate as an independent, largely due to her tireless work as a champion of new Canadians. She has already made big moves in Ottawa, like sponsoring Bill C-6, which proposes broader, more inclusive rights for refugees and immigrants.
Omidvar is also the founding executive director of the Global Diversity Exchange at Ryerson, where she is a visiting professor.