Ontario: Some 37 South Asian candidates in three major parties from very diverse backgrounds and with high qualifications

BY RATTAN MALL

 

 

SOUTH Asian candidates running for the Conservative Party, the NDP and the Liberal Party in Ontario come from diverse backgrounds – they are from every corner of the world and include Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus and Christians.

But above all things, they are high qualified professionally and experience-wise in their respective fields. Indeed, the youth should go through their bios and be inspired by them.

There are 16 South Asian candidates running as Liberals (they include Martin Singh who is a Caucasian Sikh married to a South Asian Sikh), 12 running as New Democrats and 10 running as Conservatives.

(Last week, we had introduced all the South Asian candidates from the three major parties that are running this year.)

 

BUT first, here is a list of all the South Asian MPs across Canada who got re-elected or lost or were elected for the first time in the last federal election in 2011:

* Re-elected MPs: Conservative Nina Grewal (Fleetwood-Port Kells), Liberal Hedy Fry (Vancouver Center), Conservative Deepak Obhrai (Calgary East), Conservative Devinder Shory (Calgary Northeast), and Conservative Tim Uppal (Edmonton-Sherwood Park).

This year, all the re-elected MPs are running once again.

* Losers: All Liberals: Sukh Dhaliwal (Newton-North Delta), Ujjal Dosanjh (Vancouver South), Gurbax S. Malhi (Bramalea-Gore-Malton), Navdeep Bains (Mississauga-Brampton South), Ruby Dhalla (Brampton-Springdale), and Yasmin Ratansi (Don Valley East).

Of those who lost in 2011, Liberals Sukh Dhaliwal, Navdeep Bains and Yasmin Ratansi are running again.

* New MPs: NDP’s Jinny Sims (Newton-North Delta), NDP’s Jasbir Sandhu (North Surrey), Conservative Bal Gosal (Bramalea-Gore Malton), Conservative Parm Gill (Brampton-Springdale), and NDP’s Rathika Sitsabaiesan (Scarborough-Rouge River-Ontario).

All of those who were elected for the first time in 2011 are running again.

In 2011, the Conservatives won 167 seats with 40 per cent of the total vote, while the NDP got 102 seats with 31 per cent of the votes and became the Official Opposition in a so-called Orange Wave that drowned both the Liberals, who got only 34 seats with 19 per cent of the votes, and the Bloc Quebecois, that won just four seats with six per cent of the votes and does not even qualify for official party status. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May won the party’s first seat – from B.C.’s Saanich-Gulf Islands riding. That was the only one the Green Party won. Across Canada they registered only eight per cent of the total votes. But winning a seat entitled them to a place in this year’s party leaders’ debate.

 

ONE SOUTH ASIAN MP & ONE SIKH MP SURE TO BE ELECTED

 

Naval Bajaj
Naval Bajaj
Harbaljit Singh Kahlon
Harbaljit Singh Kahlon
Raj Grewal
Raj Grewal

AT least one South Asian MP is bound to be elected from Ontario – and also, at least one Sikh MP (South Asian or Caucasian) is assured of a seat in the House of Commons.

In Brampton East, Naval Bajaj (Conservative), Harbaljit Singh Kahlon (NDP) and Raj Grewal (Liberal) will be duking it out.

Bajaj, a small business owner, is the immediate past president of the Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce. He has helped forge a strong business relationship between Canada and India and was an integral part of the delegation to India led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He is a business consultant with 7-Eleven Canada.  Bajaj provides opportunities to new immigrants as well as mentorship programs for students. He is a recipient of numerous awards including RBC Top 25 Immigrant award, world class performance award by 7-Eleven and KC Group community service award.

Kahlon is a successful business strategist and community leader. Since 2009, with an MBA from York University’s Schulich School of Business, he has consulted for leading financial institutions on strategic initiatives to build a stronger economy for Canadian families. He helped pioneer Peel Region’s new Seva Food Bank, first as an active volunteer and now as a full-time board member. He was also part of the original team that brought Hockey Night in Canada and NBA Raptors Basketball in Punjabi to the CBC—transforming a grassroots idea into a staple of Canadian multiculturalism. In 2014, he served as Campaign Chair and chief advisor to Jagmeet Singh, Deputy Leader of the Ontario NDP.

Grewal obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University, as well as an MBA from the Schulich School of Business. He was called to the Ontario bar in June 2014 after completing his JD at Osgoode Hall Law School and is a member in good standing of the Law Society of Upper Canada. He currently practices law at a prominent Bay street firm, where he specializes in public and private mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and securities. Before entering the legal profession, he was a financial analyst for a fortune 500 company. He dedicates his time to the Guru Gobind Singh Children’s Foundation and participates in the mentorship programs at both Osgoode Hall Law School and the Schulich School of Business.

Yes, one of these three is bound to be an MP.

 

IN Brampton North, MP and Parliamentary Secretary Parm Gill (Conservative) will be battling it out with Martin Singh (NDP) and Ruby Sahota (Liberal).

Parm Gill
Parm Gill
Martin Singh
Martin Singh
Ruby Sahota
Ruby Sahota

 

Gill immigrated to Canada at a young age with his family. After completing his studies, he became involved in a family business. He was first elected to the House of Commons in May 2011 and was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs in September 2013. In January 2015, he was appointed the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade. Gill has also served on a number of Standing Committees. In February of 2012, Parm introduced his Private Members Bill, Bill C-394, entitled: An Act to Amend the Criminal Code and National Defence Act (Criminal Organization Recruitment). This Bill became law on June 19, 2014. This law helps protect our youth from being targeted by gangs, and making our streets, communities and neighbourhoods safer by providing our law enforcement officers and justice officials with additional tools to address the growing concern of gang recruitment head-on. Gill was elected by the people of Brampton-Springdale and looks forward to working alongside his constituents in the new riding of Brampton-North.

Martin Singh is a Caucasian who converted to Sikhism and his married to a South Asian Sikh. He is a pharmacist and businessman who lives in Brampton. Martin has chemistry, chemical engineering, and pharmacy degrees from Dalhousie University as well as his MBA from Saint Mary’s University. According to a 2006 article of the Maritime Sikh Society posted on the United Punjab website (www.unp.me): “The Maritime Sikh Society created its own little piece of history when it unanimously elected a 33-year-old gora (white) Sikh, Martin (Jarnail ) Singh, as its president for the year 2006 at its annual meeting on December 11, 2005.” It added: “Martin came to the Gurdwara at 10 Parkill Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia for the first time in October 1991 and got baptized a few years later at Martindale Gurdwara in Calgary.”

Born in Toronto and raised in Brampton, Sahota, an experienced attorney, has practiced for five years in the areas of criminal law, litigation, and dispute resolution in both the public and private sectors, handling a wide range of complex commercial litigation files at the national and international level. She has been an active member of the Organization for Women in International Trade, UNICEF, and Amnesty International. She holds a combined Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Peace Studies from McMaster University and a J.D. with a concentration in Litigation from Thomas M. Cooley Law School where she was awarded the Blue Book Award in Immigration Law for achieving the highest GPA in her graduating class.

Again, one of the three will be sitting in the House of Commons.

 

THE OTHER CANDIDATES

CONSERVATIVES

 

  1. Naval Bajaj

Brampton East

 

(see above for photo and bio)

 

  1. Dev Balkissoon

Ottawa South

 

Dev Balkissoon
Dev Balkissoon

Balkissoon is an entrepreneur who has enjoyed a successful career in the private sector. He currently runs his own financial consulting firm. He previously worked as a financial planner, helping hundreds of Canadian families meet their financial goals. He earned an MBA from the University of Western Ontario, and a Bachelor’s in Economics from the University of Toronto. He enjoys playing recreation league hockey.

 

  1. Parm Gill

Brampton North

 

(see above for photo and bio)

 

  1. Bal Gosal

Brampton Centre

 

Bal Gosal
Bal Gosal

Bal Gosal immigrated from India to British Columbia in 1981. Two years later, he and his wife Pawanjit moved across the country to Brampton. After being elected MP for Bramalea—Gore—Malton in May 2011, he was appointed to the represent the Peel Region at the Cabinet table as Canada’s Minister of Sport. Prior to being elected, Gosal had a successful career in the insurance and financial planning sector with Prudential Insurance, Freedom 55 Financial, Goodison Insurance and Financial Services, and Rai Grant Insurance Brokers. In 2008 he opened and operated his own insurance business in Brampton. Gosal has a Bachelor of Science degree from DAV College Jalandhar / Punjab University in India. Following changes to electoral boundaries, Gosal won the right to run in Brampton Centre.

 

  1. Jagdish Grewal

Mississauga-Malton

 

Jagdish Grewal
Jagdish Grewal

Jagdish Grewal came to Canada in 1987 as a young immigrant from India. He juggled through many survival jobs while upgrading his skills and education by completing his education at the Frazer Valley College, B.C., and Centennial College Toronto to become a certified automobile technician. He served the country in his role as a Canadian Army Reserve in the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering wing for three years from 1991 to 1994. He had a secure job with North America’s one of the largest automobile company, Chrysler as a technician where he served for over eight years. He quit his job to launch Canada’s first daily newspaper in Punjabi in 2002. He hosts ‘Radio Khabarsar’ five days week. His wife Parminder Kaur Grewal shares business management responsibilities with him.

 

  1. Karim Jivraj

University—Rosedale

 

Karim Jivraj
Karim Jivraj

The son of immigrants from East Africa, Jivraj grew up in North York. Karim attended the Sorbonne in Paris, where he earned his LL.B. in International Law and his LL.M. in Public Law. He also completed graduate studies at Sciences Po and Cornell. He began his career working on corporate transactions, but with his passion for advocacy, he quickly transitioned to international litigation and arbitration, enabling him to fight for wronged investors against major corporations and foreign governments. Jivraj’s interests lie in the areas of entrepreneurship, urban transit, Canadian history, human rights, constitutional law and foreign policy.

 

  1. Ravinder Malhi

Scarborough North

 

Ravinder Malhi
Ravinder Malhi

Born and raised in India, Ravinder Malhi completed her Bachelors of Arts from Punjab University. She then migrated to Canada in the late 1970’s. An interest in a skilled trade inspired her to upgrade her education, leading her to become the proud owner of three successful beauty clinics. In 2007, Ravinder opened the doors to a private career college by the name of Toronto Aesthetics & Hair Academy with two campuses in the GTA. She has made significant contributions to the South Asian community all around the GTA, donating her time to many social causes including Box Grove Lions Club. Ravinder is one of the founding members of We-Elite, a women’s entrepreneurial and professional group, among other things.

 

  1. Vincent Samuel

Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas

 

Vincent Samuel
Vincent Samuel

Prior to immigrating in 1990, Samuel retired as a Major (Technical Officer) from the Pakistan Army. In 1992, Vincent returned to his education, eventually graduating from Mohawk College, and later obtaining a BScN from McMaster University (1998). Upon graduation, he created an access to health care services programme with the City of Hamilton, and after working with Public Health, within two years he assumed senior management positions firstly at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, and later Sunnybrook and Women’s Hospital, and Toronto East General Hospital. Samuel then became Director of Clinical Services for ComCare, a major healthcare company. Since his early retirement in 2005, Samuel has been extremely active in local charitable groups.

 

  1. Bob Saroya

Markham-Unionville

 

Bob Saroya
Bob Saroya

Saroya immigrated to Canada in 1975. Over the last 40 years he has become a successful business man and a well-known face within Markham. He is involved in fundraising activities for important local organizations, such as 360° Kids (York), Markham Stouffville Hospital, and several amateur sports teams. In addition, he assists new immigrants in Canada by offering them advice on career choices and investment opportunities.

 

  1. Ninder Thind

Brampton West

 

Ninder Thind
Ninder Thind

Thind was born in Toronto and has lived in Peel since the age of 5. After completing her studies in Early Childhood Education she served as a teacher and principal in Brampton. She has also served with the Family Health Department for the Region of Peel, helping high-risk families and children. She has devoted most of her life helping others in need by getting involved in various different non-profit and charitable organizations in the region of Peel, including The Canadian Cancer Society, Salvation Army, and Scouts Canada. She also serves as the Director of the World Sewa Medical Charitable Foundation which provides free eye care to the underprivileged in developing countries. She currently works for the Government of Canada with MP Parm Gill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NDP

 

  1. Khalid Ahmed

Don Valley East

 

Khalid Ahmed
Khalid Ahmed

Ahmed is passionate about youth issues and has served on Seneca College’s continuing education advisory board, working to improve student life on campus. He is pursuing a degree in Social Work and recently completed a practicum with John Howard Society of Toronto, supporting adults who have been in conflict with the law. The youngest of seven children, he has lived in the Don Mills area since the early 1990s.  His family immigrated to Canada in the mid-1970s.

 

  1. Senthi Chelliah

Markham-Thornhill

 

Senthi Chelliah
Senthi Chelliah

When Chelliah emigrated from Sri Lanka 30 years ago, Canada’s Tamil community wasn’t as cohesive as it is today. To begin building bridges, he launched a free 24/7 hotline for community news, businesses and events. He soon expanded the hotline into a successful Tamil business directory—Tamil’s Guide—first in print and ultimately online. He has also helped organize the GTA’s annual South Asian Trade Show.  His work has earned awards from the Canadian Tamil Chamber of Commerce and The National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada. He was also named one of RBC’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrants of 2014.  He is a two-time Ontario Volunteer Service Award-winner. He has also raised funds for local hospitals, convened Seniors’ Associations across GTA, and actively supported the Markham Toronto Cricket League.

 

  1. Harbaljit Singh Kahlon

Brampton East

 

(see above for photo and bio)

 

  1. Fayaz Karim

Mississauga—Streetsville

 

Fayaz Karim
Fayaz Karim

After immigrating to Canada from Trinidad and Tobago 27 years ago, Karim worked his way from the factory floor to become an auto industry business manager. He eventually built his own commercial freight transportation business, which he managed for over a decade. In recent years, Fayaz has shifted his focus to community advocacy work, building bridges among different cultures, nationalities and communities. He is an executive member of the Peel Poverty Action Group and serves on the board of directors of the Union Housing group. He has a Master’s Degree (Political Science) from the University of Toronto.

 

  1. Farheen Khan

Mississauga Centre

 

Farheen Khan
Farheen Khan

Khan’s dad worked for the Toronto Police, her granduncle was a staff sergeant for the Toronto Police, and her sister was a master corporal in the Reserves with the Canadian Armed Forces. Farheen was a senior manager at a women’s shelter, a fund development consultant, and has a long history of advocating for her community. She has raised over $2 million dollars for causes in Peel Region and another million for international development and relief aid. She has published two books on her journey in overcoming adversity. She graduated from the DiverseCity Fellows, United Way of Toronto’s CITY Leaders, and Maytree Foundation’s “Leaders for Change” Program. Most recently, she was profiled in Metro News as a 2015 Agent of Change through the Centre for Social Innovation.

 

  1. Ali Naqvi

Mississauga East-Cooksville

 

Ali Naqvi
Ali Naqvi

Naqvi is an experienced immigration counsel and human rights advocate . For the past 18 years, Ali has owned and operated his own consulting firm, focusing on immigration and refugee counsel. He’s a member of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council, and has advocated on behalf of stranded refugees before the UN Refugee Agency and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. As a founding member of an independent working group on Bill 124, he contributed to the creation of Ontario’s Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act, helping newcomers get to work in their fields. He served as a special advisor to the late Jack Layton and appears regularly at immigration seminars.  Ali completed his Master of Laws degree at the University of Pittsburgh, where he also served as vice-president of its International Law Society.

 

  1. Syeda Riaz

Don Valley West

 

Syeda Riaz
Syeda Riaz

Riaz is founder, designer and operator of Wish By Syeda, a clothing brand that donates a portion of all its sales to local charities. Passionate about painting and a strong supporter of the arts, she also sells her original artwork to help raise funds for girls’ education in Pakistan. She has served as executive director of the Asian Communities Council of Canada, a Toronto-based non-profit that works to build social and cultural bridges between communities. She has also been executive director of the Pakistani Community Centre, organizing major community events. Since 2008, Syeda has helped organize the Danforth Multi-faith Community Walk—a biennial event bringing together local Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities. And in 2010, she helped spearhead the Sister to Sister Campaign, a fundraising effort that supported nearly 10,000 women affected by catastrophic flooding in Pakistan.  With plans to pursue a career in law, she is studying Law and Society at York University.

 

  1. Nameer Rahman

Niagara West

 

Nameer Rahman
Nameer Rahman

As Vice-Chair for the Grimsby Economic Development Advisory Committee, Rahman is helping to develop strategies that will retain and grow local small businesses. He sits on the Board of the Grimsby Museum and runs his own Niagara-based policy consultancy. At the University of Windsor, he emerged as a strong advocate for students’ rights. He was a student affairs columnist with CBC Radio and later vice president of the student government there. After graduating with his Masters in Political Science, he served as a policy analyst with the Alberta NDP. Returning to Ontario, Nameer worked in the corporate sector before transitioning back to public service. Most recently, he served as a senior policy analyst with the Ontario Ministry of Energy, helping to build a stable and sustainable electricity system.

 

  1. Akil Sadikali

Don Valley North

 

Akil Sadakali
Akil Sadakali

Born and raised in Don Valley North, Sadikali is a community advocate and a software developer currently working in the fast-paced mobile industry. He also has experience in sectors ranging from telecommunications to finance to health care research. Akil holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science.  As a student representative at the University of Calgary, he advocated for a quality student experience. He has also volunteered at the North York General Seniors’ Health Center and at the Toronto Public Library for Adult Literacy. One of his proudest personal achievements is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to Uhuru Peak.

 

  1. Rev. K.M. Shanthikumar

Scarborough–Rouge Park

 

Rev. K.M. Shanthikumar
Rev. K.M. Shanthikumar

Shanthikumar is a priest and telecommunications worker. Since immigrating to Canada nearly 30 years ago, he’s called Scarborough his home. He is an avid sportsman who once played on Canada’s national cricket team and continues to be involved as a coach and umpire. He is the founder and president of the Ceylon Cricket Academy in Malvern.  His academy has helped hundreds of youth. As a priest in Scarborough’s Tamil community, he regularly visits with seniors and families in need of care and support. He holds a Bachelor of Theology degree and studied commerce in India.

 

  1. Martin Singh

Brampton North

 

(see above for photo and bio)

 

  1. Rathika Sitsabaiesan

Scarborough North

 

Rathika Sitsabaiesan
Rathika Sitsabaiesan

Sitsabaiesan was elected MP for the Toronto riding of Scarborough–Rouge River on May 2, 2011. She is seeking a fresh mandate in the newly redrawn riding of Scarborough North. She is Ontario’s youngest MP and Canada’s first of Tamil descent. She was recently named deputy critic for Heritage in the NDP Shadow Cabinet. She previously served as critic for Post-Secondary Education and as vice-chair of the national NDP caucus from 2012–2014. She has also introduced legislation to protect the Rouge River and to officially designate January as Tamil Heritage Month. She was born in Sri Lanka and came to Canada with her family at age five.  She earned her Bachelor of Commerce degree from Carleton University and obtained her Master’s Degree in Industrial Relations from Queen’s University.

 

 

 

 

 

LIBERALS

 

  1. Gary Anandasangaree

Scarborough–Rouge Park

 

Gary Anandasangaree
Gary Anandasangaree

Anandasangaree is an internationally recognized human rights lawyer and community activist who has advocated tirelessly for education and justice. He attended Osgoode Hall Law School, was called to the bar in 2006, and now manages his own firm in Scarborough. Gary has been a passionate advocate for human rights issues, regularly representing Lawyer’s Rights Watch Canada at the United Nations. He has served as Chair of the Canadian Tamil Youth Development Centre, President of the Canadian Tamils’ Chamber of Commerce, counsel to the Canadian Tamil Congress, among other things.  He received the Osgoode Hall Law School “One to Watch” Gold Key Award and the South Asian Bar Association’s Young Practitioner Award.

 

  1. Chandra Arya

Nepean

 

Chandra Arya
Chandra Arya

Arya has worked as an engineer, industrial banker, entrepreneur, investment advisor, and technology company executive. During the last three years he served on the board of Invest Ottawa – an economic development agency established with the mandate of making Ottawa the best place in Canada to start and grow a business. He previously served as the Chair of the Indo-Canada Ottawa Business Chamber and President of the Indo-Canadian Community Centre Inc. Chandra has earned a Bachelors of Engineering and Masters of Business Administration, and was professionally certified by the Canadian Securities Institute as a Canadian Investment Manager.

 

  1. Navdeep Bains

Mississauga-Malton

 

Navdeep Bains
Navdeep Bains

Bains is presently a distinguished visiting professor at Ryerson University – Ted Rogers School of Management and holds an MBA with a specialization in finance. As a Certified Management Accountant, he has worked several years in accounting and financial analysis for the Ford Motor Company of Canada. He has been active in a variety of community organizations, as a board member for the Mississauga Food Bank, having worked with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Guru Gobind Singh Children’s Foundation, as well as having served as an Ontario board member with the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Having served as the MP for Mississauga-Brampton South from 2004 to 2011, he gained extensive experience as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and as the Liberal Critic in various portfolios.

 

  1. Bardish Chagger

Waterloo

 

Bardish Chagger
Bardish Chagger

In her current role with the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre, Chagger works to foster existing diversity within the community while providing the opportunities for engagement. As the executive assistant to former MP Andrew Telegdi, she has a deep understanding of the issues that are important to residents of Waterloo: manufacturing, technology, and innovation. Bardish has lent her support to many different causes and organizations including Waterloo Rotary, Interfaith Grand River, and the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin. She graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Science.

 

  1. Raj Grewal

Brampton East

 

(see above for photo and bio)

 

  1. Iqra Khalid

Mississauga-Erin Mills

 

Iqra Khalid
Iqra Khalid

Khalid, a young Pakistani-Canadian woman, immigrated to Canada in the late 1990’s from England, where she began her formal schooling. Iqra graduated from York University in 2007, with a double major in Criminology and Professional Writing. She later obtained her Juris Doctor and is now working as a legal professional with the City of Mississauga. She has held numerous volunteer positions including President of the Pakistani Student Association, Media Relations Ambassador for the York University Student Alumni, Communications Coordinator for the Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals, and a Director on the Board for Breaking Free Foundation.

 

  1. Kamal Khera

Brampton West

 

Kamal Khera
Kamal Khera

Khera is a registered nurse, community volunteer and political activist. She immigrated to Canada from Delhi, India, at a very young age. She attended York University where she earned her Bachelors of Science in Psychology with Honours and her Bachelors of Science in Nursing with Honours. She was worked with Centre of Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH), Peel Family Shelter, and William Osler Health Centre. She presently works as a Registered Nurse in the Oncology Unit at St Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto. She serves as Chairperson of South Asian Canadians Heritage Foundation, Mentor and Program Coordinator at Big Brother Big Sister of Peel, and Event Coordinator with Sick Kids Foundation. She also hosted ‘Youth Vision’ – a local TV talk show which explored issues surrounding young South Asian Canadians.

 

  1. Yasmin Ratansi

Don Valley East

 

Yasmin Ratansi
Yasmin Ratansi

Ratansi represented the riding of Don Valley East as an MP from 2004 to 2011. She held a number of executive positions and chaired a number of high-profile committees. She was Deputy Whip of the Liberal Caucus, and also served as Chair of the Standing Committee on Government Operations, and as Chair of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women. Born in Dar Es Salaam, Yasmin has lived and worked in Don Valley East since 1974. She is a grassroots oriented leader who is passionate about civic engagement and social justice. Yasmin is an engaged social activist in the community.

 

  1. Azim Rizvee

Milton

 

Azim Rizvee
Azim Rizvee

Rizvee is an award-winning Serial Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of MinMaxx Realty Inc., Lux Real Estate Ltd., Agentopia App and Milton.com. Under his leadership, MinMaxx won the 2011 Milton Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year Award. He has served in both management and directorial capacities at both Bell Canada and Aventis.  Winner of the Toronto Real Estate Board’s 2012 Community Service Award, he sits on the board of the Milton District Hospital Foundation.  He holds a Masters of Science, an MBA, and is an alumnus of the Ivey Leadership Program from the Richard Ivey School of Business.

 

  1. Ruby Sahota

Brampton North

 

(see above for photo and bio)

 

 

 

  1. Raj Saini

Kitchener Centre

 

Raj Saini
Raj Saini

Saini has owned and operated the award-winning Greenbrook Pharmacy for nearly 20 years. He is a Rotarian of many years and a board member of the Canadian International Council, Waterloo Region branch.  He earned his Bachelors of Science in Chemistry from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelors of Science in Pharmacy from Boston’s Northeastern University.

 

  1. Ramesh Sangha

Brampton Centre

 

 

Rameshwer Sangha
Rameshwer Sangha

After graduating from the University of Windsor, Sangha decided to pursue a career as a lawyer.  He offers co-op training to local students from high schools, colleges, universities as well as articling positions for law students. He also provides immigration consulting and legal counseling to Canadian immigrants and those who are new to Canada. He was also appointed as Chairperson for the Canadian Pension Plan Review Tribunal by the Governor General in Council (Canada).

 

  1. Sonia Sidhu

Brampton South

 

Sonia Sidhu
Sonia Sidhu

Sidhu is a registered cardiology technologist, diabetes educator and clinical research coordinator. She has been actively involved in political campaigns at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels for many years. She has volunteered with numerous organizations including the environmental initiatives of Guru Nanak Mission Canada in Brampton South, Nahani Way Public School, Trillium Health Centre and Karma Grow, a local charity community garden initiative.

 

  1. Gagan Sikand

Mississauga—Streetsville

 

Gagan Sikand
Gagan Sikand

Sikand, a lawyer and small business owner, has diverse professional experience, having worked for the Attorney General of Ontario, the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. He also sits on the Board of the Dental Hygienists of Ontario. He volunteers on the local United Way advisory council and regularly helps out at both the Eden and Seva food banks. He is a mentor with the Kids Now program at Woodlands Secondary School. He also coaches basketball and serves as a board member for the Young Governors Council of Junior Achievement.

 

  1. Arif Virani

Parkdale–High Park

 

Arif Virani
Arif Virani

Virani, who came to Canada as a Ugandan Asian refugee, has had a 14-year legal career advocating for human rights and access to justice as a constitutional litigator. He has an Honours B.A. in History and Political Science from McGill University, and completed his LL.B at the University of Toronto. He has worked as an analyst with the Canadian Human Rights Commission in Ottawa; an investigator at la Commission des droits de la personne et droits de la jeunesse in Montreal; and as an assistant trial attorney prosecuting genocide at the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. He is the founder of Toronto’s legal aid clinic SALCO, the recipient of the 2001 Harold G. Fox Scholarship and the 2008 Wilson-Prichard Award in recognition of his contributions to the legal profession and his community. He is a member of the Redwood Shelter for abused women; regularly helps at the Parkdale Food Bank and is an active volunteer with Roncyworks .

 

  1. Salma Zahid

Scarborough Centre

 

Salma Zahid
Salma Zahid

Zahid immigrated to Canada in the late 1990s. She has a strong background in governance and public policy, and currently works as a senior advisor for the Ontario government in the office of the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade.  She has served as Chair of the Regent Park Duke of York Public School Parent Council, and was instrumental in the development of the Youth Reading Club and Skating Program. She has also been an active volunteer with a number of local food banks, as well as her local mosque, Jamia Abu Bakar. She holds a Master’s in Educational Management and Administration from the University of London’s Institute of Education and an MBA from Quaid e Azam University in Pakistan.

 

 

 

The list of South Asian candidates in Ontario:

 

CONSERVATIVES

 

  1. Naval Bajaj

Brampton East

  1. Dev Balkissoon

Ottawa South

  1. Parm Gill

Brampton North

  1. Bal Gosal

Brampton Centre

  1. Jagdish Grewal

Mississauga-Malton

  1. Karim Jivraj

University—Rosedale

  1. Ravinder Malhi

Scarborough North

  1. Vincent Samuel

Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas

  1. Bob Saroya

Markham-Unionville

  1. Ninder Thind

Brampton West

 

 

NDP

 

  1. Khalid Ahmed

Don Valley East

  1. Senthi Chelliah

Markham-Thornhill

  1. Harbaljit Singh Kahlon

Brampton East

  1. Fayaz Karim

Mississauga—Streetsville

  1. Farheen Khan

Mississauga Centre

  1. Ali Naqvi

Mississauga East-Cooksville

  1. Syeda Riaz

Don Valley West

  1. Nameer Rahman

Niagara West

  1. Akil Sadikali

Don Valley North

  1. Rev. K.M. Shanthikumar

Scarborough–Rouge Park

  1. Martin Singh

Brampton North

(Note: Although Martin Singh is a Caucasian, he’s a Sikh who is married to a South Asian Sikh.)

  1. Rathika Sitsabaiesan

Scarborough North

 

 

LIBERALS

 

  1. Gary Anandasangaree

Scarborough–Rouge Park

  1. Chandra Arya

Nepean

  1. Navdeep Bains

Mississauga-Malton

  1. Bardish Chagger

Waterloo

  1. Raj Grewal

Brampton East

  1. Iqra Khalid

Mississauga-Erin Mills

  1. Kamal Khera

Brampton West

  1. Yasmin Ratansi

Don Valley East

  1. Azim Rizvee

Milton

  1. Ruby Sahota

Brampton North

  1. Raj Saini

Kitchener Centre

  1. Ramesh Sangha

Brampton Centre

  1. Sonia Sidhu

Brampton South

  1. Gagan Sikand

Mississauga—Streetsville

  1. Arif Virani

Parkdale–High Park

  1. Salma Zahid

Scarborough Centre

 

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