Navdeep Singh Bains, Bardish Chagger (fourth and fifth from left) and MP Ruby Sahota (extreme right) with Sandeep Singh Brar, Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic, Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky and Major Amul Singh Waraich at the Sikh Remembrance Day Ceremony.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his new cabinet “looks like Canada”. “Canada is strong not in spite of its diversity, but because of it, and we are committed to bringing new leadership and a new tone to Ottawa. We also made a commitment to pursue our goals with a renewed sense of collaboration. Most importantly, we will be a government that governs for all Canadians and brings Canadians together,” he said. The cabinet, which for the first time includes an equal number of men and women, is being seen as the most diverse and inclusive 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, World Sikh Organization (WSO) president. The new cabinet also includes the appointment of four Sikh Canadians: Harjit Singh Sajjan as Minister of Defence; Amarjeet Sohi as Minister of Infrastructure; Bardish Chagger as Minister of Small Business and Tourism; and Navdeep Singh Bains as Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Navdeep Singh Bains is also the Registrar General of Canada.
WSO President Dr. Amritpal Singh Shergill said, “Today is a proud day for Sikh Canadians as we see a record number of Sikh MPs serving their country in Canada’s Parliament. Punjabi is now the third most common language at Parliament Hill. With four Sikh Canadians serving in Cabinet, including the first Sikh woman, the Prime Minister has made history.”
Minister of National Defence, MP Harjit Singh Sajjan 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 is also a recipient of the Order of Military Merit, one of the military’s highest recognitions.
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains was a visiting professor at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management and holds an MBA with a specialization in finance.
Amarjeet Sohi, the new Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, has served three terms as an Edmonton City Councillor. He was recognized for promoting welcoming and socially inclusive communities.
Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism, has worked to foster diversity within the community, providing opportunities for social and economic engagement.