Jagmeet Singh becomes first Sikh politician to lead Canada’s major New Democratic Party

Oct 3, 2017 11:47 IST
Jagmeet Singh becomes first Sikh politician to lead Canada’s major New Democratic Party

Jagmeet Singh, a Sikh lawyer was elected the leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP), becoming the first non-white politician to lead a major political party in Canada.

Jagmeet Singh, who is the Ontario provincial lawmaker, was voted on the first ballot to head the party into the 2019 election against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.
He won the crucial first-ballot victory over three other candidates by receiving 53.6 percent of the vote.

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Singh is the first member of a minority community to lead a major Canadian federal political party. He now has the thorny task of reforming the party that lost 59 seats in the 2015 election.

The NDP-New Democratic Party is currently at the 3rd place in Canada’s Parliament, with 44 of 338 seats. The NDP has never held power.

Speaking on the occasion, Singh said that his main focus would be on issues such as climate change, reconciliation with indigenous peoples and electoral reform.

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About Jagmeet Singh

• He was born in 1979 in Scarborough, Ontario, to migrant parents from Punjab, Singh grew up in St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador and Windsor, Ontario.

• He acquired a Bachelor of Science (B.SC) degree in Biology from the University of Western Ontario in 2001 and a Bachelor of Laws degree from York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School in 2005.

• He worked as a criminal defence lawyer in the Greater Toronto Area before entering politics.

• Sikhs account for roughly 1.4 per cent of Canada’s population. The country’s defence minister is also from the community.

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