The current conflict in Ukraine has deepened awareness of a terrifying plight that is visited every year on far too many people the world over. We are living in a time when 1 in every 95 people on earth has fled their home as a result of conflict or persecution. My husband Zaheer and I once counted ourselves among this number, when an edict from the totalitarian regime of Idi Amin forced all people of South Asian descent to leave our native Uganda. We were privileged to find a new home in Canada, and every day in the 45 years since has truly been a blessing.

As we mark World Refugee Day, I offer my heartfelt thanks to all those who generously give their time, energy and resources so that refugees can build a new life here and share their strengths with our communities. I also am grateful for the leaders and volunteers, across Canada and around the world, who are leading the way in fostering peace, freedom, and human rights for all.

Her Honour, the Honourable Salma Lakhani AOE, B.Sc., LLD (hon), Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

June 20, 2022