2 Indian-Origin Women Politicians Enter Ontario Cabinet in Canada
Harinder Malhi and Indira Naidoo-Harris have been inducted as ministers in the Ontario Cabinet.
Two Indian-origin women politicians from the Liberal Party in Canada were inducted into the Ontario Cabinet on Jan. 18 by Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Harinder Malhi, 38, a member of Provincial Parliament for Brampton-Springdale, was appointed the Minister of the Status of Women. Indira Naidoo-Harris, a member of Provincial Parliament for Halton, was promoted as the Education Minister. She will be the Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care.
“The knowledge and skills they bring to these roles will be crucial as we continue our work to create more fairness and opportunity for the people of Ontario,” Wynne was quoted as saying by the Star newspaper. “In a changing economy, our plan is about making sure everyone has a fair shot at getting ahead,” she said.
Malhi, the daughter of Canada’s first Sikh MP Gurbax Singh Malhi, became the first woman minister from the community in Ontario. She was criticized in India when she tabled a motion in April 2017 in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to recognize the 1984 Sikh riots as genocide. The House had passed the motion, which India said was “misguided.”
It is being speculated that she would help keep the Sikh votes since the elevation of Jagmeet Singh as the leader of the New Democratic Party can lead to serious competition for the Liberal Party.
Malhi became the mayor of Brampton-Springdale riding in 2014 after defeating the Progressive Party candidate Pam Hundal by 6,641 votes in the election.
Naidoo-Harris was born in Durban, South Africa, during Apartheid. She moved to Canada as a child. Prior to the election in 2014, which started her political career, she was a CBC Radio newsreader and a CBC television journalist. She was unsuccessful during her first election in 2011.
She recently held a press conference talking about the increasing childcare costs and the challenges faced by families.
“I know there are challenges out there that families are facing. But we are working hard with our partners … to get it right. And we are getting it right,” said Naidoo-Harris, according to CBC.
“Are there some challenges that families are still facing? Absolutely. That’s why we are working hard right now to ensure that we’re doing everything we can to react as quickly as we can,” she said.