New parliament has 22 South Asian members
Mississauga/Oct.20,2015-New Canadian parliament, after Monday’s stunning Liberal victory, is a big step forward for the country’s South Asian community. With total 22 MP’s of South Asian origin, the community’s presence in the federal parliament has tripled from the previous parliament.
A great majority of parliament’s South Asian brigade is from Ontario; 14 of the total 22 are from the province. New South Asian MPs are coming from 4 provinces now as Quebec has also elected its first South Asian MP’ in Monday’s election. British Columbia’s 4 and Alberta’s 3 MP’s are of South Asian origin. Sixteen, out of these 22 South Asian members, belong to Canadian Punjabi community. Only two new members belong to the Conservative Party. Among existing members only Deepak Obhrai was able to save his seat from Calgary Forest Lawn riding. Bob Saroya is the only Conservative MP from GTA region who got elected from Markham-Unionville riding.
First South Asian member from Quebec, Anju Dhillon, comes from Laval-Lachine-LaSalle riding, a South Asian stronghold in suburban Montreal. Two South Asian MP’s won first time from outside GTA; Bardish Chaggar won the Waterloo riding and Raj Saini has won the Kitchner Centre riding.
Five new members of the parliament are turban-wearing Sikhs. First South Asian and turban-wearing Sikh member of Canadian parliament Gurbax Malhi got elected in 1993. He says that the community has got a long way in last 22 years. “ Sikh MP’s are 2.1 per cent of the parliament now and that is in proportion to our share in Canada’s population”.