| Inderjeet Singh | Toronto, Canada | 21 Oct 2015 | Asia Samachar |
A red wave came over Canada when it was declared that Justin Trudeau has led the Liberal Party to victory. “A new Canada,” he proclaimed! “We beat negative, divisive politics with a positive vision that brings Canadians together.”
The elections ushers in a new era for Canada as Trudeau’s party was swept to power on a vow to change how Canadians were governed and a commitment to end what he branded as the Conservatives’ divisive style of politics.
The Liberals have 189 in a house of 338 seats, with only 170 seats were needed for a majority.
For Sikhs and all other minorities, the Liberal party’s manifesto serves them best from being most accepting to their religious and cultural requirements and sensitive to immigration and family unification issues.
What made this victory sweeter and certainly a proud moment for Sikhs all over the world, a total of 15 Liberal Sikh candidates won their seats and will be representing their ridings in Parliament. Of the 15 candidates, four were women and five are turbaned Sikhs, the highest count ever in Canadian Parliament.
In British Columbia, many ridings, like the Surrey Newton and Surrey Newton in B.C., which has a majority Sikh/Punjabi dwelling, pitted three Sikh candidates against each other, with Sukh Singh Dhaliwal and Randeep Singh Sarai of Liberal taking the honors. Also, Lt Col Harjit Singh Sajjan, a highly decorated military officer in the Canadian Armed Forces and a former Vancouver police officer, defeated Wai Young of the Conservatives, in a hotly contested seat in Vancouver South.
Similarly in Ontario, it was also a three-way fight in the Sikh/Punjabi saturated Brampton East, where rookie candidate Raj Grewal defeated his more prominent Sikh brethren; while Kamal Khera won the Brampton West riding, being one of the four Sikh women to make it to Parliament, a first and certainly a proud precedent. Other Sikh women who made it to Parliament Hill are AnjuDhillon (Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle – Quebec,) Ruby Sahota (Brampton North), and Sonia Sidhu (Brampton South).
Probably the most senior and prominent Liberal candidate is Navdeep Singh Bains, who handily won the Mississauga-Malton riding with a 62% vote of a 72,000 riding. Navdeep Bains is also tipped as someone who might make it into Trudeau’s cabinet. Navdeep is an accountant/financial analyst and visiting professor at Ryerson University. [See here.]
SEE ALSO: 5 Sikh women, 5 turbaned Sikhs among 19 Indo-Canadians elected MPs
Not to be undone by their Ontario and BC counterparts, Calgary’s Darshan Singh Kang won a highly contested seat in Calgary-Skyview, a first Liberal victory there since 1969, by defeating long-time MP,DevinderShory, also a Sikh. Calgary Skyview is the most diverse of the city’s ten ridings, with 43.15 per cent immigrant population according to the 2011 National Household Survey. [More news here.]
It was high drama at the Edmonton Mill Woods riding where Amarjit Sohi defeated Federal Minister Tim Uppal in a race that required a second count and went right up to the wire.
Having 15 Sikhs in Parliament in a country like Canada speaks volumes for the policies of immigration, diversity, integration and inclusion that are practiced in Canada. Interestingly, it surpasses the 13 Sikhs elected to the Lok Sabha in India!
Also, the previous government’s decision to ban niqab during citizenship oath ceremonies did not sit well with the minorities. If the victories of the five turbaned Sikh Liberal MPs is any indication, it was a clear mandate against ban on religious symbols.
Inderjeet Singh is a Malaysian Apna, now residing in Surrey, Canada. He has always been active in Sikhi-related activities
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
5 Sikh women, 5 turbaned Sikhs among 19 Indo-Canadians elected MPs (Asia Samachar, 21 Oct 2015)
No turbans in next Singapore parliament, Pritam returned (Asia Samachar, 12 Sept 2015)
Four Sikhs in Singapore polls 2015 (Asia Samachar, 2 Sept 2015)
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Well written story Inderjeet! Glad to hear of the positive progress being made!