Eight Indo-Canadians, including a turbaned Sikh, have won elections in Canada’s British Columbia province as the ruling New Democratic Party (NDP) returned to power with a majority in the snap polls.
The NDP led by Jagmeet Singh, the first Indo-Canadian to lead a major federal party in Canada, increased its 41-seat minority into a 55-seat majority in the 87-member assembly, according to preliminary results on Saturday night, which did not include more than 500,000 mail-in ballots.
It is the largest NDP victory in British Columbia history, the Vancouver Sun newspaper reported. “While we wait for that final count to happen, I want to assure people that I’m going to keep the focus right where it belongs, on helping people get through this pandemic and making sure that they have the services that they need,” Premier John Horgan, who had called a snap election during the COVID-19 pandemic, said while addressing a victory rally in Vancouver.
Aman Singh, a turbaned Sikh, defeated Jas Johal of the opposition Liberal Party in Richmond-Queensborough. “Thank you to the amazing residents of Richmond-Queensborough who I was able to connect with during this campaign. It has been a true honour to stand before you & hear about the issues impacting you & your families. I’m grateful to the team of volunteers who helped our team effort,” Singh tweeted.
Other prominent Indo-Canadian winners are Deputy Speaker Raj Chouhan, Labour Minister Harry Bains, Jagrup Brar and Ravi Kahlon. All are from the ruling party.
Three Indo-Canadian women – former minister Jinny Sims, Niki Sharma and Rachna Singh – all from the ruling NDP – emerged winners in the polls. “I thank you to all the volunteers & everyone who have worked so hard to make my campaign possible. Thank you for your support, phone calls, donations & all the kind messages. I have met so many local residents – listening to many stories & learning about what matters to you,” tweeted Chouhan, who secured victory in the Burnaby-Edmonds constituency.
Bains, who won from Surrey Newton, also thanked people for his victory in the elections. “So incredibly grateful, humbled, and honoured – thank you to the amazing constituents of Surrey-Newton for trusting me to be your MLA and to all of my friends & family for their unwavering support – we’ll keep BC moving forward for everyone!” he tweeted.
Sims, who served as minister of citizens services in Horgan’s government but resigned in October 2019, defeated her fellow Punjabi Dr Gulzar Cheema. Sims, who emigrated to England from Punjab at the age of nine, and her husband moved to Canada in 1975.
“Congratulations and thank you to all who ran for office and to all who voted. Special shout out to all our volunteers. My heartfelt thanks to my constituents in SurreyPanorama,” she tweeted.
NDP leaders Kahlon and Brar won from Delta North and Surrey-Fleetwood constituency, respectively.
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