With the spectacular win of Liberal Party in the federal elections, five turbaned Sikh MPs and five South Asian women have made a historic entry into Canadian parliament. They are among 15 South Asian Liberal MPs elected in the 42nd parliamentary election.
Among the turbaned Sikh MPs are Navdeep Singh Bains and Raj Grewal from Ontario. Bains has served as MP in the past. Likewise, two turbaned Sikh MPs Harjit Singh Sajjan and Randeep Singh Sarai have been elected from BC. In Alberta Darshan Singh Kang was elected, while the first turbaned Sikh minister in the previous Conservative government Tim Uppal has been defeated by Amarjit Sohi of the Liberal Party. Uppal was also from Alberta which is considered as Conservative hotbed.
Interestingly, the previous government’s decision to ban niqab during citizenship oath ceremonies did not sit well with the minorities. If the victories of five turbaned Sikh Liberal MPs is any indication, it was a clear mandate against ban on religious symbols. Notably the Conservative supporters in the past had objected to the recruitment of turbaned Sikhs in the Canadian police. It is a separate matter that Tim Uppal became the first turbaned federal minister to serve a Conservative government. He also been adamantly supporting the ban on niqab. South Asian women have also made mark in the elections. Among those elected are Anju Dhillon, Ruby Sahota, Kamal Khaira, Sonia Sidhu and Salma Yahid.
Other Punjabi Liberal MPs who got elected are Sukh Dhaliwal, Gagan Sikand, Raj Saini and Ramesh Sangha. Dhaliwal has served the parliament before.
In all, Liberals have won 184 out of total 338 seats in the house, while the Conservatives have bagged only 99 seats, leaving New Democrats with 44. The BQ has been elected on 10, whereas Green Party has got only one seat.