Anita 1st Hindu woman in Canadian Cabinet

Sajjan, Bains, Chagger make it too

Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 21

Four Indian-origin ministers have made it to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet, which was announced on Wednesday.

Anita Anand, in her early 50s, has become the first Hindu woman to be inducted into a Canadian Cabinet. The three others — Harjit Singh Sajjan (49), Navdeep Bains (42) and Bardish Chagger (39) — all Sikhs, were part of the previous Cabinet.

Anand, who is among the seven new faces in the 37-member Cabinet, has received the Public Services and Procurement portfolio.

While Sajjan stays as Minister of National Defence, Bains has been appointed Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and Bardish Chagger Minister for Inclusion and Diversity as well as Youth. Mother of four, Anand was born to Indian-origin parents at Kentville, Nova Scotia, and is an academic, lawyer and researcher.  Sajjan’s native Bambeli village in Hoshiarpur erupted in joy after his induction for a second time. It coincides with the wedding of his nephew, the son of his younger brother Jasvir Singh, who resides at the family’s ancestral home along with third brother Balvir Singh.

Sarpanch Paramjit Singh said: “It’s a joyous occasion for the village. Everyone was busy with the wedding and the news of 'Minister Sahib' getting re-inducted is an icing on the cake."

Sajjan, a decorated military veteran and police officer, has served deployments at Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as Kandahar in Afghanistan.

While Sajjan last visited his village in 2017, his father Kundan Singh and mother visit every year. "The family funds football tourneys and sports events here. He is deeply involved in philanthropic and sports activities," the sarpanch added.

RELATED Cabinet opium video leaves Cong red-faced