For Aref Salem, City Councillor for the Norman-McLaren District, involvement in his community has been a long personal journey marked by his desire to advance the cause of small business owners, having been the manager of a small business for 17 years before, and to help his fellow citizens.
Born in a country where democracy was almost non-existent, Aref admits that he was somewhat apprehensive about politics when he arrived in Montréal. Having never voted before, politics was more about citizen involvement than voting for a duly elected representative. However, seeing the need to help his fellow business owners and bring about change at the local level, he made the decision to enter municipal politics in 2009.
Aref is proud to represent a borough that he defines as being very progressive and attractive for businesses. In fact, he believes that in Saint-Laurent, businesses have the chance to flourish by benefiting from favourable conditions that allow them to go further and create greener, more sustainable and more dynamic projects and services.
In his opinion, Ensemble Montréal is the best vehicle to restore the reputation that Montréal deserves. As a party that is committed to diversity, economic development and SMEs, Aref believes that Montréal can benefit from a more responsible approach that will allow Montréal to regain its prominence while taking into account the reality of each citizen.
- City Councillor for the district of Norman-McLaren, since 2009
- Vice-Chair of Montreal’s Transport and Public Works Commission since 2017
- Member of Montreal’s Council Presidency Commission since 2018
- President of the board of directors for Saint-Laurent College, 2015 to present
- 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