Indo-Canadian minister becomes first woman head of govt in Parliament

  • Anirudh Bhattacharyya, Hindustan Times, Toronto
  • Updated: Aug 21, 2016 01:13 IST
Bardish Chagger after being sworn-in as government house leader during a ceremony in Ottawa, Canada, on Friday. (Reuters)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made history last November by appointing four Indo-Canadians to his cabinet. Now, he’s made some more by giving the added responsibility of being Leader of the Government in the House of Commons to Bardish Chagger, making her the first woman to hold the post in Parliament.

This is a fairly significant promotion for the 36-year-old, first-term MP from Waterloo in the province of Ontario. Chagger was the first Indo-Canadian woman to become a minister when she was appointed as the minister of small business and tourism.

In a brief statement on Friday, Trudeau expressed his confidence that Chagger will be a “worthy successor” to Dominic LeBlanc, who also holds the portfolio for fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. 

With her added responsibility, Chagger will be a key player in the lower house of the Parliament for shepherding legislation through the House of Commons. She will face the challenging task of working with opposition parties to further Trudeau’s agenda.

Chagger indicated she may opt for a cooperative stance. She told the media in Ottawa, the Canadian capital and seat of its Parliament, “I really do believe that we can all work together.”

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