2 Indo-Canadians get key portfolios in new Cabinet of Ontario province

Updated on Jun 25, 2022 02:19 PM IST
Prabhmeet Sarkaria gets an expanded mandate for emergency management and procurement while Parm Gill will be the Minister of Red Tape Reduction
Prabhmeet Sarkaria (right) after being appointed to the Ontario Cabinet on Friday, but with an expanded mandate. (Prabhmeet Sarkaria/Twitter))
Prabhmeet Sarkaria (right) after being appointed to the Ontario Cabinet on Friday, but with an expanded mandate. (Prabhmeet Sarkaria/Twitter))

TORONTO: When Ontario’s Conservative Party premier Doug Ford was first given the mandate to lead Canada’s most populous province, he did not have a single Indo-Canadian minister, though he rectified that omission later. Beginning the second term as premier, Ford appointed two Indo-Canadians to significant portfolios.

Prabhmeet Sarkaria, who filled the gap when he was appointed Associate Minister of Small Businesses and Red Tape Reduction a year after, was again given the post he held last year as president of the Treasury Board. But he now has an “expanded mandate for emergency management and procurement, including Supply Ontario”, according to a release from the Ontario premier’s office on Friday, as the new Cabinet was announced.

Sarkaria, who represents the riding (as constituencies are called in Canada) of Brampton South, tweeted, “I’m truly honoured and grateful to be chosen for this important role.”

Also in the Cabinet is Parm Gill, who will be the Minister of Red Tape Reduction. He was earlier Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism, after his appointment in 2021. Gill, who represents Milton, had been in national politics in the past as he was a Conservative Party MP in the House of Commons between 2011 and 2015 representing Brampton - Springdale. As an MP, he was appointed as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veteran Affairs, and later, the Minister of International Trade.

One Indo-Canadian who will not feature in the Cabinet this time but is expected to receive a high-profile assignment. Nina Tangri was the Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, after she entered the ministry last year, but she does not figure in the list. However, she is expected to be become the next Speaker of the Ontario Provincial Parliament, which will make her the first-ever woman to occupy that post in the legislature.

Tangri was re-elected from Mississauga - Streetsville.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Anirudh Bhattacharya is a Toronto-based commentator on North American issues, and an author. He has also worked as a journalist in New Delhi and New York spanning print, television and digital media. He tweets as @anirudhb.

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