5 South Asians, 2 Sikhs and 15 Women MPs
Ottawa, November 6 (CINEWS): History was made Wednesday, November 4 when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s and his new equal-gender 31-member cabinet, was sworn in at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. For the first time 15 women MPs were sworn in and 4 members of South Asian descent.
The most high-profile appointment is Harjit Singh Sajjan, a decorated combat veteran who was born in Punjab, India and whose family migrated to Canada when he was a child. He will serve as the country’s defense minister.
Mr. Sajjan is a former police officer from Vancouver‘s organized-crime unit and served in the Canadian army with tours to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Afghanistan, where he served three tours of duty and received a Canadian meritorious service medal in 2013 for reducing the Taliban’s influence in Kandahar province.
Navdeep Singh-Bains, 38, born in Toronto to immigrant parents is the new minister of innovation, science and economic development. A former financial analyst and visiting professor at Ryerson University in Toronto, Mr. Bains was a member of Parliament from 2004 to 2011 representing Mississauga and Brampton, two suburbs of Toronto that boast a significant South Asian population.
Amarjeet Sohi, the minster of infrastructure and communities was born in Punjab, India and migrated to the city of Calgary in 1981. Mr. Sohi was appointed to the Edmonton city council three times from 2007 to 2015 and will be responsible for the government’s key spending on transit and infrastructure.
Bardish Chagger, minister of small business and tourism, was born to immigrant parents who migrated to Canada in the 1970s from India. Ms. Chagger, a rookie member of Parliament was introduced to Canadian politics by her Indian father, who was a longtime Liberal party supporter.
Maryam Monsef came to Canada as a child as a refugee from Afghanistan. Now she is a cabinet minister. She is also Canada’s first-born Afghan member of Parliament. Her family fled the Taliban 20 years ago. Ms. Monsef, 30, was sworn in Wednesday as Canada’s minister of democratic institutions.
• Justin Trudeau (Quebec) – Prime Minister, Intergovernmental Affairs and Youth
• Ralph Goodale (Saskatchewan) – Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
• Stéphane Dion (Quebec) – Foreign Affairs
• John McCallum (Ontario) – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
• Carolyn Bennett (Ontario) – Indigenous and Northern Affairs
• Scott Brison (Nova Scotia) – Treasury Board President
• Dominic Leblanc (New Brunswick) – Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
• Navdeep Bains (Ontario) – Innovation, Science and Economic Development
• Bill Morneau (Ontario) – Finance
• Jody Wilson-Raybould (B.C.) – Justice and Attorney General of Canada
• Judy Foote (Newfoundland and Labrador) – Public Services and Procurement
• Chrystia Freeland (Ontario) – International Trade
• Jane Philpott (Ontario) – Health
• Jean-Yves Duclos (Quebec) – Families, Children and Social Development
• Marc Garneau (Quebec) – Transport
• Marie-Claude Bibeau (Quebec) – International Development and La francophonie
• Jim Carr (Manitoba) – Natural Resources
• Mélanie Joly (Quebec) – Heritage
• Diane Lebouthillier (Quebec) – National Revenue
• Kent Hehr (Alberta) – Veterans Affairs, and Associate Minister of National Defence
• Catherine McKenna (Ontario) – Environment and Climate Change
• Harjit Sajjan (B.C.) – National Defence
• MaryAnn Mihychuk (Manitoba) – Employment Workforce Development and Labour
• Amarjeet Sohi (Alberta) – Infrastructure and Communities
• Maryam Monsef (Ontario) – Democratic Institutions
• Carla Qualtrough (B.C.) – Sport, and Persons with Disabilities
• Hunter Tootoo (Nunavut) – Fisheries and Oceans, and Canadian Coast Guard
• Kirsty Duncan (Ontario) – Science
• Patricia Hajdu (Ontario) – Status of Women
• Bardish Chagger (Ontario) – Small Business and Tourism