In the upcoming Canadian elections for the 338-member parliament, as many as 40 are Indians..!!
There were eight Indo-Canadian MPs in the outgoing 308-member House of Commons. But this could go up this time as the three main parties – the Tories, Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party – have fielded 40 Indo-Canadians, including all the incumbents.
Deepak Obhrai, who is also parliamentary secretary to the minister of foreign affairs, is the longest-serving Indo-Canadian MP.
The outgoing minister of state for sports Bal Gosal and the minister of state for multiculturalism Tim Uppal are also in the league.
One can see direct fights in constituencies with huge Indo-Canadian population such as Brampton, Surrey, Calgary and Edmonton. Apart from the 40 Indo-Canadians fielded by three main parties, a couple of Indo-Canadians are in the fray as independents.
After the longest ever election campaign of 11 weeks in Canadian history, Monday’s vote will elect 338 members to the House of Commons – up from 308 in 2011 as 30 more constituencies have been added this time. Numbering about 1.2 million, Indo-Canadians make up more than three percent of Canada’s population of about 35 million and have become a significant political force.
Canada elected its first Indian-origin MP in 1993, when turbaned Sikh Gurbax Malhi won from the Toronto-area.
Canada also has the distinction of appointing an Indian-origin person as a full-fledged cabinet minister anywhere in the Western world when Herb Dhaliwal became the federal revenue minister in 1997.