Salma Lakhani appointed Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, first Muslim in Canada to hold post
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Salma Lakjani was devoted to supporting people in her community, from new immigrants and young people, to women and families.Updated: Jul 01, 2020 08:14 IST
A community advocate and businessperson Salma Lakhani made history on Wednesday upon her appointment as the Lieutenant Governor of the province of Alberta, the first-ever Muslim with roots in the Indian subcontinent to occupy the post in Canada.
Her appointment was announced by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “Ms. Lakhani is devoted to supporting people in her community, from new immigrants and young people, to women and families. As Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, I know she will serve the people of her province and our country well, and continue to be a source of inspiration for all Canadians,” the Prime Minister said in a statement.
Lakhani, a follower of the Ismaili sect, was born in Uganda but her family was forced to leave after the Indian-origin community in the African country was expelled by dictator Idi Amin.
She has a degree in Clinical Biochemistry from the University of Manchester. She later moved to Edmonton in 1977, along with her husband. They have two daughters.
A Lt Governor in Canada is the equivalent of a Governor in India and is nominated by the federal government. While the role is largely ceremonial, the appointment is symbolic of diversity in how leadership in the country looks.
Among those who welcomed her appointment was the Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney, who tweeted, “Ms. Lakhani has a remarkable background in business and volunteerism, reflecting the Alberta culture of enterprise and community.”
The PMO noted she was a “long-time community advocate and successful business owner” who has dedicated herself to “helping people in need and those who face obstacles to success in our society. Through her work to advance education, health care, women’s empowerment, human rights, and support for new immigrants, she continues to be a champion of diversity, pluralism, and inclusion.”
She was a founding member of ‘NorQuest College’s 1000 Women: A Million Possibilities’ movement and has been on its advisory committee and board for the past decade. Lakhani is also associated with the Aga Khan Foundation.