Aref Salem has been Leader of Ensemble Montréal since November 2021 and City Councillor for the Norman-McLaren district in the borough of Saint-Laurent since 2009. He immigrated to Canada after fleeing the war in Lebanon, 31 years ago on his birthday. He was drawn into politics by his desire to give back to the city and the citizens who welcomed him, and to improve their quality of life.
Over the years, he has been Executive Committee member responsible for transportation and vice-chair of the standing committee on transportation and public works. He has also served on several boards of directors such as BIXI Montréal and Stationnement Montréal, as well as being councillor associate for culture, heritage and design and for communities of diverse origins. Among his major accomplishments are the implementation of “Taxis Bonjour” and the rescue of BIXI when the organization was in financial difficulty.
His approach, in politics as in everyday life, is human-centred. His vision of Montréal is that of a forward-thinking, proactive, caring city in which the voices of all citizens are heard and represented.
- Ensemble Montréal interim leader and leader of the Official Opposition since November 2021
- City Councillor for the district of Norman-McLaren, since 2009
- President of the board of directors for Saint-Laurent College, 2015 to present
- Vice-Chair of Montreal’s Transport and Public Works Commission, 2017-2021
- Member of Montreal’s Council Presidency Commission, 2018-2021
- Member of Montreal’s Executive Committee, responsible for transport, 2013-2017.
- Member of Montréal’s economic and urban development and housing committee, 2009-2013
- Board member of Sationnement Montreal, 2013-2017
- Board member of Bixi Montréal, 2013-2017
- Board member of AMT, 2013-2017
- Member of the Agglomeration Council of Montreal, 2013-2017
- CMM Board Member, 2013-2017
- Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Montreal Taxi Office, 2013-2017
- Associate councillor, culture, heritage and design, 2012-2013
- Member of the Conseil des arts de Montréal, 2012-2014
- Member of the Committee on Economic, Urban and Housing Development, 2009-2013
- Associate councillor, communities of diverse origins, 2009-2012
- Manager of a small medium enterprise, 1992-2009
- Bachelor’s degree in business administration, HEC Montréal, 2004
- Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology, Université de Montréal, 1995
- Volunteer at the Canada-Lebanon Chamber of Commerce and Industry 2007
- Volunteer for the Canadian Red Cross Response Team 2006 – 2009
- Volunteer at the Saint-Laurent Chamber of Commerce 2005-2006
- Volunteer and team leader of a group of 525 youth at the World Youth Day, Toronto 2002
- Scouts Group Leader 1998 – 2009