Politicians are notoriously known to “support the Sikh community” and “take interest Sikh events” before elections. We’ll see these public figures making appearances at Sikh festivals, interrupting weddings with political speeches, and wearing ramal’s with neatly folded hands during Sikh rallies. What is rare, however, is seeing these politicians again doing any of this after the elections.
Canada asked for a change and it certainly got it. Newly elected Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has not only kept up his appearances with the Sikh community after being elected, but he made history by doing something no other PM has ever done: he has become a part of the Sikh community
When attending large Sikh community events, it’s refreshing to see a Prime Minister who genuinely wants to be there. Trudeau keeps minority-based promises, trusts qualified Sikh community members to take on positions of power and, takes the time to get to know Sikh Community members on a personal level.
Justin Trudeau is the ultimate paradox: a politician who keeps his word; a politician who supports minority groups; a politician who is actually “the people’s man.” Let’s celebrate together as we highlight the times Justin Trudeau has made the Indo-Canadian community proud.
#1 Justin Elects 4 Sikhs To Cabinet
On November 4th Justin Trudeau elected Harjit Sajjan, Amarjeet Sohi, Bardish Chagger and Navdeep Bains as part of his cabinet. With Trudeau’s cabinet, Canada has more Sikh members in parliament than does India. After the 9/11 attacks there have been many misinterpretations of the Sikh identity within North American media. There is much to say about Trudeau electing Sajjan, a Sikh man bearing a full beard and turban, as the leader of our nation’s national defense. Trudeau has elected these individuals for their character, high-acclaim and extensive list of credentials. As Trudeau has said himself we now finally see “a cabinet that looks like Canada!”
#2 Justin Does Seyva at Gurdwara
Unlike other politicians who stand idly at Sikh events, here we see Justin whipping up some roti’s for langar! Although, when he is standing idly, you have to admit, he does look quite handsome in a ramal! Judging by those round pareh and the aunties’ approving faces, it looks like Justin will give every to-be daughter-in-law a run for their money. We give Justin’s efforts to actually get to know our community and experience our culture two huge thumbs (or should we say baylana’s) up!
#3 Justin Adjusting Immigration Laws to Re-Unify Families
Justin recognizes the need for Indo-Canadians (and other ethnic groups) to be reunified with their families. Harper only allowed a limited number of Canadians to bring their parents and grandparents to Canadian. Trudeau is doubling family reunification by allowing that number to jump from 5,000 to 10,000. In response to skeptics, Justin comments that “making it easier for families to be together here in Canada makes more than just economic sense. When Canadians have added supports, like family involvement in child care, it helps drive productivity and economic growth.”
#4: Justin’s Bhangra Moves Are Better Than Your Uncle’s
No “screwing the light bulb” tricks for our Prime Minister. When it comes to Bhangra, Trudeau can break it down with arms thrashing and legs stomping to show Canada what our community is really about! We are watching, Justin, and we are highly, highly impressed. One day Prime Minister, next day “Captain Bhangra Da!”
#5: Justin Understands the 1984 Tragedy on A Deeper Level
Political figures often fall into the pattern of making obligatory speeches (specifically during election times) about how “unfortunate” or “sad” the 1984 attacks were. What is different about Justin Trudeau, however, is instead of simply paying respects to those killed in the attacks he questions the attacks. When asked about the attacks on November 6th, Trudeau highlights that “there are far more questions than answers.” He wants to know how such a tragedy could have occurred; how so many innocent people could have been subjected to such cruelty. A simple speech about how “sad” the attacks were could have sufficed in order to keep up with political appearances but what Trudeau wants is something much more powerful: he wants answers. He urges that “we must continue to call on the Indian government to pursue the truth, pursue justice for those who carry the scars of 1984, and pursue accountability for all people of India.”
#6: Justin Trudeau Makes Ties With All Of Our Community
Because South Asians make up such a large portion of the Lower Mainland, it’s simply “good business sense” that every politician must make an effort to create ties with our community. It seems easy for politicians to get caught up in meetings with wealthy South Asian businessmen and powerful South Asian corporate moguls as these people are who would benefit each politician the most. What’s different about Justin Trudeau, however, is that his ties with the South Asian community do not end with the rich and the powerful Sikh community members. He has proved time and time again that he genuinely cares about the community by taking so much time to reach out to our community’s most vulnerable: infants and the elderly. It’s a consensus: our bibi’s love him and our babies just can’t stop looking at him! On every level, for every age range and job status, Justin Trudeau is a Prime Minister we can trust to represent our community. Our voice, our frontrunner: Justin Trudeau.