OTTAWA Nov 4: The Punjabi community in Canada made history when two turbaned Sikhs, among four Indo-Canadians, were sworn in as cabinet ministers, as 42-year-old Justin Trudeau took oath as the country’s 23rd prime minister at a grand public ceremony here.
The World Sikh Organization (WSO) in a statement said: “Today was a historic day for Canada. Prime Minister Trudeau’s cabinet for the first time includes an equal number of men and women, and is the most diverse and inclusive group in recent history.”
“The appointment of ministers Judy-Wilson Raybould and Hunter Tootoo has sent a strong message that this government is serious about ensuring that cabinet reflects the strengths, talents, and diversity of Canadians,” said Dr. Amritpal Singh Shergill, WSO President.
* Navdeep Bains: Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
* Harjit Sajjan: Minister of Defence.
* Amarjeet Sohi: Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.
* Bardish Chagger: Minister of Small Business and Tourism.
NAVDEEP Singh Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and MP for Mississauga-Malton (Ontario), played a key role in Trudeau’s leadership bid in 2013.
He was a distinguished visiting professor at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management and holds an MBA with a specialization in finance. As a Certified Management Accountant, he has worked several years in accounting and financial analysis for the Ford Motor Company of Canada.
HARJIT Singh Sajjan, Minister of Defence and MP for Vancouver South, is a retired Lieutenant-Colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces and a combat veteran. He was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina and served three separate deployments to Kandahar, Afghanistan. Sajjan has received numerous recognitions for his service, including the Meritorious Service Medal for reducing the Taliban’s influence in Kandahar Province. He is also a recipient of the Order of Military Merit, one of the military’s highest recognitions. Sajjan also served as an Aide-de-Camp to the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.
Sajjan was a police officer with the Vancouver Police Department for 11 years. He completed his last assignment as a Detective-Constable with the Gang Crime Unit specializing in organized crime. He proudly tackled gang violence and drug crimes in Vancouver. Sajjan is also a human security specialist, and has lectured to a wide audience in both Canada and the United States.
AMARJEET Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and MP for Edmonton Mill Woods in Alberta, was elected three times as an Edmonton City Councillor.
Dedicated to improving Edmonton’s infrastructure and livability, Sohi represented the city on the Canadian Urban Transit Association, and has been a strong advocate for light rail transit. Sohi also advocated municipal interests to other levels of government through his delegation to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association. He has been a prominent leader on municipal and provincial issues, volunteering with Public Interest Alberta, the Centre for International Alternatives, and the Canadian Labour Congress.
BARDISH Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism and MP for Waterloo (Ontario), is a natural leader and organizer and is devoted to inclusion and community building. From assisting with recreational sports for kids to volunteering with seniors, Chagger is committed to strengthening the bonds of the Waterloo community.
In her role with the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre, Chagger has worked to foster diversity within the community providing opportunities for social and economic engagement. As the former executive assistant to former Member of Parliament Andrew Telegdi, Chagger has a deep understanding of the issues that are important to residents of Waterloo, including manufacturing, technology and innovation.
Justin Trudeau, the 42-year-old son of charismatic former prime minister Pierre Trudeau who is credited with opening Canada to new immigrants in the 1970s, led the Liberal Party to win 184 seats in the 338-member House of Commons.
Trudeau is the second youngest prime minister of Canada.