Sikh man becomes first minority politician to lead major party in Canada

A 38-year-old Sikh lawyer was on 01 October 2017 elected the leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party, becoming the first non-white politician to head a major political party in the country. Jagmeet Singh, the Ontario provincial lawmaker, was elected on the first ballot to lead the party into the 2019 election against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals. He won the decisive first-ballot victory over three other candidates by receiving 53.6 % of the vote.

Mr. Singh, who has penchant for colourful turbans, is the first member of a minority community to lead a major federal political party. He now has the difficult task of rebuilding the party that lost 59 seats in the 2015 election.The New Democratic Party is currently at the third place in Canada’s Parliament, with 44 of 338 seats. The party has never held power. In the 2011 general election, the party made historic gains only to lose almost a million votes mostly to Trudeau’s Liberals four years later.

He has received attention for his sharp style. During the leadership campaign, he raised far more money than his competitors did and he said he believes he can continue that success as Leader. Born in 1979 in Scarborough, Ontario, to immigrant parents from Punjab, Singh grew up in St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador and Windsor, Ontario. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Western Ontario in 2001 and a Bachelor of Laws degree from York University’s Osgood Hall Law School in 2005.

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