Murad Velshi

Murad Velshi

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Murad Velshi

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Murad Velshi (born April 4, 1935) is a former politician in Ontario, Canada. He was an Indian Muslim who lived in Kenya and migrated to Canada. He was a Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1987 to 1990.


Velshi was a master baker and businessman before entering political life. He owned and operated a bakery, a pickle manufacturing plant and other retail businesses in Pretoria, and was the owner of a real-estate company in Kenya. After moving to Canada in 1971, he also established a chain of travel agencies in Ontario and British Columbia, and served as president of the Flemingdon Health Centre. He played a significant role in assisting Ugandan refugees to Canada following Idi Amin's coup d'état. Velshi has also supported employment equity programs in Canada.

Velshi is an Ismaili Muslim, and was the first Canadian of Indian origin to serve in the Ontario legislature. His forebears are from Gujarat state in India, though Murad and Mila, Ali’s mother, grew up in South Africa. Ali’s great-grandfather was a friend of Gandhi, who arrived in South Africa in 1893. In 1984, Velshi accused federal Liberal leader John Turner of refusing to field minority candidates in Toronto-area ridings. Later, he provided assistance to the Ismaili community in Afghanistan, during a period of persecution by the Taliban.

His son, Ali Velshi, is senior business correspondent and news anchor for CNN.


He first ran for the...
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