N.S. appoints prominent Syrian refugee to business agency's board

Less than two years after he arrived as a refugee, a Syrian chocolatier has been named to the board of Nova Scotia's economic development agency.

Tareq Hadhad is among the most high-profile of Syrian refugees in Canada — his family's Peace by Chocolate in Antigonish, N.S., has been touted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the United Nations.

The provincial government announced Friday Hadhad will serve a four-year term on the board of Invest Nova Scotia, which oversees the government's economic incentives.

Hadhad's father ran a chocolate factory in Damascus with around 30 employees that shipped specialty treats all over the Middle East.

An aspiring physician, Hadhad says he abandoned his studies and fled to Lebanon with several family members after a 2012 bombing destroyed the business his father had built over the course of more than two decades.

The family spent three years at a refugee camp then settled in Antigonish in early 2016, as Canada accepted a wave of more than 25,000 Syrians.