By Asia Samachar Team | CANADA |
A Canadian Sikh lawmaker has decided to call it quits from the high level politics with a decision to “step away as a cabinet minister”.
Navdeep Singh Bains, 43, earlier last week announced that the 2019 general elections was his last, and that he was withdrawing from the Cabinet helmed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
He has served as the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry for the last five years.
Along with national defence minister Harjit Singh Sajjan, Bains is one of the most visible Sikh politician in Canadian politics.
They were among four Indo-Canadians roped into Trudeau’s Cabinet after the 2019 elections. The list also included Bardish Kaur Chagger as Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and Anita Anand as Minister of Public Services and Procurement.
“As many of you know, family is the most important thing in my life. They have sacrificed so much in the last 17 years,” Navdeep said in a social media broadcast on Jan 12.
“The last year has been hard on families. My daughters, who are in Grade 5 and Grade 8, have needed me more in the last year. And I needed them, too. It is time for me to put my family first, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
“I’m very grateful for the trust the community has shown me. We are strong, diverse and vibrant. Representing you has been one of the great privileges of my life.”
In a tweet, he referred to Trudeau as such: “No longer my boss, always my friend.”
The move is surprising considering his age. And time will tell if there were other reasons.
This week, the Indian media channels reported that Bains’ departure from national politics was linked to corruption. The reports were not backed by any credible information other than falling back on earlier reported allegations.
Senator Linda Frum, a former journalist who had shared one of the Indian news reports, then apologies. She tweeted: “I owe @NavdeepSBains an apology. I retweeted an article about him from a non-reputable source in India. I should have checked the source first, as is my usual practice. I was wrong and I do unreservedly apologize. I wish him well in his retirement.”
In response, Bains said: “As someone who has faced this many times in my political career, we all have a responsibility to reject disinformation from foreign actors. This is not a partisan issue. Working together we can make sure interference doesn’t affect a fact-based public dialogue.”
A Canada-based writer Rupa Subramanya tweeted: “Zee media is a dangerous Indian government mouthpiece. No one sensible should defend their journalism if you can even call it that. It’s bizarre that a Canadian domestic political issue appeared on Zee. Very unusual but noteworthy.”
A media commentator, Sarbjit Kaur, tweeted: “Good of you to apologize but reading that article with its huge laundry list of everything from telecomms to temples in other Provinces being Bains’ fault should have tipped you off. 🙄 I’m surprised they didn’t write that he caused COVID-19.”
Trudeau taps four Indo-Canadians for his new cabinet (Asia Samachar, 22 Nov 2019)