Toronto, June 19 | Three Punjabis were appointed as Ministers in a Cabinet reshuffle in Canada’s Ontario province.
Moga-born Parm Gill, 47, was on Friday appointed as Ontario’s new Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism.
Prabmeet Sakaria, who in 2019 became the first turban-wearing minister in Ontario when he was appointed Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, now gets a full Cabinet rank as President of the Treasury Board.
“It is an honour to be sworn in as Ontario’s President of the Treasury Board. I am dedicated to working hard with Premier Ford and my colleagues to support Ontarians,” Sarkaria said after his elevation.
Nina Tangri, whose family comes from Bilga near Jalandhar, has been made Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction.
Till now, she was serving as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
“Excited to be sworn in as the Associate Minister of Small Business & Red Tape Reduction. Thank you to Premier,” Nina said.
But it is the appointment of Gill as Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism that surprised many in the Indo-Canadian community.
Gill himself seemed to be surprised when he said: “Who would have thought a young boy who immigrated from India to Canada at a young age, raised by a single mother, would today be sworn in as Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism for the Province of Ontario.”
He had previously served as an MP in the House of Commons.
With the Ontario elections exactly a year away, Premier Doug Ford has elevated three Punjabis in his Cabinet with an eye on Indo-Canadian votes in the so-called 905 region around Toronto, including Brampton and Mississauga.
The 905 region, named after the area code, has the biggest concentration of the Punjabi community in Canada.