Victor Dahdaleh, Canadian philanthropist and businessman, joined academic and business leaders last week at the 95th Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce annual event at the House of Lords.
Dr Dahdaleh, whose charitable foundation The Victor Dahdaleh Foundation supports a diverse range of causes across education, healthcare and social and economic development, was the President of the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce from 2004 to 2009. Fellow former President Robert Brant and current President William Swords were also in attendance.
Introducing Peter MacKay - former Canadian Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Minister of Defence, and Minister of Foreign Affairs - as guest speaker, Dr Dahdaleh highlighted the Nova Scotian's leadership and principled thinking.
"It is all too common for us to take for granted the real leadership it takes to shape the political future of a nation. It takes courage, tenacity and integrity. Peter knows that a government must always decide whether to lift people up to reach their potential or weigh them down with over-regulation and too heavy a tax burden," said Dr Dahdaleh.
Guests were joined by leading political figures - including Trade Secretary and President of the Board of Trade Liam Fox, Lord Giddens, Lord Bell and Canadian High Commissioner Janice Charette - to discuss the future of Canada-UK relations in the year in which Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary of Confederation.
The Victor Dahdaleh Foundation seeks to strengthen this historic relationship culturally by its ongoing sponsorship of the Canada Gallery at Canada House in London, which celebrates Canadian artists and their work.
Also present at the event was Dr Kent MacDonald, president and vice-chancellor of St Francis Xavier University - another institution with which Victor Dahdaleh has close ties. In 2015, Dr Dahdaleh was honoured by the university with a Degree of Doctor honoris causa in Law.
And additionally representing the Canadian academic establishment was York University President Designate, Dr Rhonda Lenton. York University is among several academic organisations partnered with the Victor Dahdaleh Foundation to deliver cutting-edge research programmes. In late 2015 the Foundation made a record $20million donation to York to fund the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health , a state-of-the art facility.
With The Victor Dahdaleh Foundation's fundamental principle of matching other funds when it considers donations, it has also been an active supporter of McGill University in Montreal, one of the world's leading centres of medical-doctoral research. The Foundation matches the funds for an endowment in perpetuity for 32 scholarships at the university. The awards are aimed at outstanding full-time undergraduates from low-income countries. And last year it also matched a donation to found a new Chair in Neuroscience at the university, building on McGill's world-class research in the study of chronic brain disease.
In the UK, the Victor Dahdaleh Foundation partnered with the British Lung Foundation in 2016 to launch a new programme of research into mesothelioma. Research teams from the University of Leicester, Imperial College London and Cambridge University came together under the initiative. The Foundation's £5 million donation matched UK government funding announced earlier in the year.
Also in the UK, Victor Dahdaleh is an Honorary Fellow at London School of Economics, where he has funded a range of new schemes and backed a scholarship programme to enable disadvantaged students from overseas to study at the school.
The Victor Dahdaleh Foundation's support for education also reaches Africa, where it is a donor to the Northwood African Educational Trust, which manages a school for orphans in northwest Ethiopia.
Victor Dahdaleh is the owner and chairman of Dadco, a privately owned investment, manufacturing and trading group established in 1915.
For more information, visit victordahdalehfoundation.com.
SOURCE The Victor Dahdaleh Foundation