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Indira Naidoo-Harris is riding high

Indira Naidoo-Harris is the member of Provincial Parliament from Halton, the second largest riding in Ontario. With close to 350 polls, it is also a diverse riding that is one of the fastest growing areas in Canada with young families moving in, and Naidoo-Harris knows the issues first-hand.

“I’ve raised my kids here. I’ve gone to soccer and hockey practice and to figure skating and dance classes.” 

Her parents had moved to Canada in 1976 from Durban in South Africa to raise their children with the same rights and privileges that everyone enjoyed and she knows well the challenges newcomers face. When her mother walked down the street in Alberta in her beautiful saris, people stared. “I faced everything that all kids who come from a ‘different’ place face. But my parents believed that instead of dwelling on the negative, if you stay filled with hope and expect the best, the best will come. They invited neighbours over for curry!

Having been the first woman of colour on television in Alberta and then as a very popular television anchor on CBC, Global, CTV Newsnet and Omni, she saw entering politics as an opportunity to give others a real sense of who she was and what she stood for.  

“I was born in a country where my family didn’t have a vote, where they couldn’t participate in the political process. Being inclusive is very important to me. I thank my stars my parents chose to come to Canada. The freedoms, the acceptance is unmatched.”

Naidoo-Harris, who is the Ontario Minister of Education, tells newcomers to stay focused, maintain a positive attitude and work very, very hard, pointing to her career path which she says is a testimony to everything that Canada stands for, to all that anyone can achieve in this country.

“Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do it. With hard work, strong principles and belief in yourself, you can be anything in this country. But you have to believe in yourself to succeed. I set out early in life to meet challenges. I never limited myself. 

“Don’t just blend in, know who you are. You don’t have to be like everyone else to be accepted.”

Posted: Feb 3, 2018

April 2019

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