The Sunday Edition

Dr. Mohamed-Iqbal Ravalia's journey from Zimbabwe to Newfoundland to the Canadian Senate

Twillingate, Newfoundland is not where you'd think an East Indian Muslim from Zimbabwe would choose to build his life. Dr. Ravalia has just been appointed as an independent Senator. Heather Barrett’s documentary “My Own Private Twillingate” first aired in 2009.
Family doctor and professor Mohamed-Iqbal Ravalia has been appointed to the Senate to fill a vacancy in Newfoundland and Labrador. (PMO)
Listen17:21

This documentary was originally aired in 2009.

In early June 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Dr. Mohamed-Iqbal Ravalia as an independent Senator to fill a vacancy in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Like many physicians practicing in Newfoundland and Labrador, Dr. Ravalia is known colloquially as a "Come From Away." About 35 per cent of the province's doctors are immigrants — most from the developing world. 

About half the foreign doctors stay just long enough to earn their Canadian credentials. After that, they "go down the road" to cities where jobs in medicine have better pay and perks. 

Dr. Mohamed-Iqbal Ravalia, left, seen receiving the Order of Canada from then governor general David Johnston in 2016, has been appointed to the Senate to fill a vacancy in Newfoundland and Labrador. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)

That's one reason why The Sunday Edition introduced listeners to Dr. Ravalia, back in 2009. 

Dr. Ravalia is the senior medical officer at the Notre Dame Bay Memorial Health Centre in Newfoundland and Labrador. He's also an associate professor of family medicine at Memorial University.

He is quite remarkable in many ways, but particularly, because he has been taking care of the people of Twillingate for 34 years now.

The small outport of Twillingate is not where you'd think an East Indian Muslim from Zimbabwe would choose to build his life. But then again, being the only brown person in a Newfoundland outport is not what you might think it's like either. 

Dr. Ravalia is a "Come From Away" who is from so far away, that it doesn't matter.

Producer Heather Barrett's documentary is called My Own Private Twillingate.

Click 'listen' at the top of the page to hear Heather Barrett's 2009 documentary about Dr. Ravalia.

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