This Sikh woman has just become Canada’s 1st woman House leader

Bardish Chagger, the 36-year-old Waterloo MP and the country’s minister of small business and tourism, was among 19 Indian-origin candidates who won in last year’s general elections

India At Large staff

Indo-Canadian MP Bardish Chagger has been named the new leader of the government in Canada’s House of Commons, thus becoming the first woman in the country’s history to hold the post, reports PTI.

Chagger, the 36-year-old Waterloo MP and minister of small business and tourism, was among 19 Indian-origin candidates who won in last year’s general elections.

“This is a tremendous opportunity. I have been involved in the political process for basically my whole life,” Chagger told reporters on Parliament Hill after her swearing-in. “I know what democracy should look like. Democracy should be engaging Canadians. That is the leadership of our prime minister and that’s why the whole of government approach will work for Canada,” she was quoted as saying by CBC News.

Replacing Dominic LeBlanc, she is now the first woman in Canadian history to hold the job of guiding government legislation through Parliament.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his “confidence in minister Chagger as a worthy successor”, the report said, citing a government statement.

On the first day on the job, Chagger said she “really does believe that we can all work together”. “…let’s work with the team and let’s get there,” she said.

Chagger, who was born and raised in the Waterloo region, attended the University of Waterloo where she was the president of the Young Liberals. She will retain her title as minister along with the new role.

She is one of the four Sikh Canadians inducted into Trudeau’s Cabinet besides defence minister Harjit Sajjan – a combat veteran who did three tours in Afghanistan as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, infrastructure minister Amarjeet Sohi and innovation minister Navdeep Singh Bains.

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