The 1.25 million-strong Indo-Canadian community had much to cheer about on Tuesday as it doubled its representation in the new Parliament with the election of a record number of 19 MPs.
Though comprising only about 3% of the population of Canada, the community outperformed those numbers. The new number of Indo-Canadian lawmakers far outstripped the previous high of nine.
In 2011, almost all the Indo-Canadians MPs were Conservatives, with no Liberals elected, reflecting the overall mandate. The triumph of Justin Trudeau catapulted at least 15 Indo-Canadian Liberals to the Parliament in Ottawa.
Currently, there are eight MP’s of Indian origin in the House of Commons. The nearly two-fold jump in the number of Punjabi candidates points towards the mounted reliance of prime political parties on Indian candidates to secure votes of the community.
Constituencies of Brampton, Surrey, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and more have a significant presence of Punjabis.
The community flaunts its significant nearly 30 per cent of proportion in population in Brampton East alone.
Consider Surrey Newton, where the poll contest is being keenly watched. This is the place which has a sizeable Punjabi community which is why all the three major parties have preferred an Indo-Canadian face to woo voters.
While the Liberals have gone with Sukh Dhaliwal, the NDP is content with its sitting MP Jinni Sims as its nominee. The Conservatives have gone with Harpreet Singh as the party candidate against the two.
In Brampton East, NDP’s Harbaljit Singh is pitted against Raj Grewal of the Liberal party.
In Edmonton, sitting MP Tim Uppal, who is one of the two MP’s of the outgoing federal cabinet, is contesting against Amarjeet Kohli of the Liberal party. The federal general elections are being held for 338 seats in the House of Commons.
In the fray
Bal Gosal, Rameshwar Sangha, Martin Singh, Parm Gill, Kamal Khera, Narinder Thind, Navdeep Bains, Jagdish Grewal, Darshan Kang, Devinder Shory, Amarjeet Kohli,
Tim Uppal, Sukh Dhaliwal, Harpreet Singh, Jinni Sins, Harbaljit Singh, Raj Grewal, Nina Grewal, Deepak Oberoi.