Meet your new South Asian MPs

Harjit Sajjan, Minister of Defenceharjit


Canada’s new defence minister is Harjit Sajjan, a decorated Lt.-Colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces and the newly-elected MP for Vancouver South. Sajjan was born in India and moved to Canada with his family when he was five years old.
He grew up in his riding, and later walked the South Vancouver streets as a detective with the Vancouver Police Department’s Gang Crime Unit.
He is a combat veteran, serving in Bosnia and on three deployments to Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Sajjan has received numerous military honours, including the Meritorious Service Medal in 2013, for reducing the Taliban’s influence in Kandahar Province.

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Bardish Chaggar, Minister of Parliament, Business and Tourismchaggar


She was born and raised in Waterloo, got her Bachelor of Science degree in 2004 from the University of Waterloo.
She worked at the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre to ensure that new Canadians can participate fully in community life and was a former Board Member with the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin and MT Space. She was recognized as one of The Record’s Top 40 Under 40 for her community leadership.

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Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Developmentnavdeepbains

Navdeep is a longtime resident of both Mississauga and Brampton and has strong ties to the social and cultural associations in the Peel Region. He is the recipient of a number of awards recognizing his work in promoting diversity within his community.
He served as Member of Parliament for Mississauga—Brampton South from 2004 to 2011, Navdeep gained extensive experience as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and as the Liberal Critic for Public Works and Government Services, the Treasury Board, International Trade, Natural Resources, and Small Business and Tourism.

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Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communitiesamarjeet-sohi


Sohi was born in India in 1964, and immigrated to Edmonton in 1981. He has lived in southeast Edmonton since then, and is married with one daughter. Prior to his election to City Council, Sohi worked for the Edmonton Transit System as a bus driver.In 1988, Sohi returned to India and was arrested in the state of Bihar under accusations of terrorism. He was released in 1990 and soon returned to Canada.

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Maryam Monsef- Minister of Democratic InstitutionsMARYAM-MONSEF-facebook


Monsef was born in Afghanistan, and initially lived with her family in the province of Herat. Her father died in unclear circumstances when Monsef was a toddler. Monsef’s mother Soriya moved her three daughters back and forth between Iran and Afghanistan, awaiting an end to hostilities, but the family struggled in Iran, where they faced the risk of deportation. In 1996, when Monsef was 11, her mother opted to move the family to Canada. They settled in Peterborough, a riding she now represents.



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