Meet Oakville’s first Sikh municipal councillor

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By Pradip Rodrigues

Not only is Oakville’s Ward 7 brand new, even its first councillor Jasvinder Sandhu new to the role. Her background as an accomplished Bay Street lawyer  is expected to serve her well in her new and extremely challenging role as councillor for a burgeoning Ward 7.

The fact that Jasvinder Sandhu is the first Sikh councillor in Oakville (Jasvinder is the second person of colour to be an Oakville councillor after the late Max Khan) gives her the opportunity to be that voice for ethnic minorities who live in the riding as well as who are continuing to move into the city.

“We’ve not had any ethnic representative in Oakville who feels the issues first hand. Ward 7 encompasses a large area and the residents who’ve recently moved into new sub-divisions and are without many town facilities. We need a new rec centre and other facilities enjoyed by residents in other established wards,” says Jasvinder.

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Ward 7 has a slightly higher-than-average number of visible minorities, about 40 per cent compared to 30 per cent in the rest of Oakville.

As a newly-minted councillor Jasvinder Sandhu has her work cut out for her. She lives with her husband and two girls aged 6 years and 10 months.

She knows exactly the needs of young families living in the area and is committed to ensuring Oakville builds the required infrastructure to support them.

Traffic safety is a key concern for businesses and families and she is committed to working with local residents and police to advocate for a safer community.

Jasvinder knows that she will be on a sharp learning curve and is more than prepared for it.

“I think the job of councillor is a lot like any other job where it takes 3 months to get settled. I think in that period I will know my way around City Hall and be effective. I am not apprehensive because I’ve been a lawyer and advocate for several causes during the time I worked as a corporate lawyer on Bay St.,” she says.

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Jasvinder has many projects she intends putting into motion in the months to come. Among them is a youth mentorship program that will teach them the importance and need for civic responsibility.

Jasvinder Sandhu just can’t wait until next month to get started in her new role. You will be hearing a lot more about this go-getting young woman on a mission. -CINEWS

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