Indo-Canadians Will Be Well Represented In John Horgan’s Cabinet
EDITOR'S NOTE: There will be at least three to four Indo-Canadian MLAs that will likely be in Premier-Designate John Horgan's cabinet when it is unveiled in Victoria next Tuesday. First and foremost Harry Bains and Raj Chouhan are sure to get top cabinet post and as esteemed LINK political columnist Harinder Mahil has written below – Chouhan could very well get the Speaker's Chair which will be a real honour for the Indo-Canadian community as Chouhan will make history as the first Indo-Canadian-South Asian to get the honourable position of Speaker. First time MLA Ravi Kahlon is close to Horgan who personally helped choose the ex-Canadian sports star and Kahlon will most likely get the Sports-hybrid Ministry. However, fellow first-timer Rachna Singh is not expected to get any portfolio. The real battle for the remaining possibly 4th Indo-Canadian cabinet minister post is a dramatic battle between provincial NDP newcomer and ex-MP Jinny Sims and Jagrup Brar, who defeated BC Liberal cabinet minister Peter Fassbender. Here, Horgan has a tough choice as Brar is long-time provincial NDPer who has paid his dues and deserves to be in cabinet while Sims is a veteran of the BC education political body as well as former MP who performed well in Parliament for the Jack Layton elected NDP official Opposition. My guess is that if Horgan decides to induct four Indo-Canadians into cabinet – either Brar or Sims will be left out!
By R. Paul Dhillon – DESIBUZZCanada Founder-Editor
By Harinder Mahil
Premier-designate John Horgan will be sworn into office on July 18 and will reveal the makeup of his cabinet.
Our community will be well represented in the cabinet as we have six Indo-Canadians as New Democratic Party MLA’s.
Here are my thoughts as to which ones of the Indo-Canadian MLA’s will be in the cabinet:
Raj Chouhan: As the senior most MLA from Burnaby, Chouhan has been elected for the fourth time from Burnaby Edmonds. He has served as the Deputy Speaker for the last four years. He served as Opposition Critic for Mental Health, Human Rights, Immigration and Multiculturism and Labour.
Chouhan was the founding president of the Canadian Farmworkers' Union and served as a director of the Hospital Employees Union. He also served as a member of the Labour Relations Board of B.C.
It is widely expected that Chouhan will become the next speaker. I am mindful of the fact that Burnaby has elected four New Democrat MLA’s. Chouhan has been elected four times and the other three are rookies. It is expected that he and one other Burnaby MLA will be in the cabinet.
Harry Bains has been active in Surrey in for many years. He has experience in education due to his service on the Kwantlen University College Board of Governors as board member and vice chair from 1993 and 1999.
Bains is the former woodworkers' union rep and has played an important role in British Columbia’s trade union movement. He was instrumental in putting together the NDP’s successful election strategy in Surrey, which resulted in the NDP winning 6 NDP seats.
He has been elected from Surrey for the fourth term. He has served as opposition critic for the Olympic Games and for Transportation and Infrastructure, Labour and Worksafe BC.
I expect him to receive a senior cabinet post and play an important role in John Horgan government.
Jinny Sims: Although it is her first term and an MLA for Surrey-Panorama she previously was elected as a Member of Parliament in the 2011 election. She represented the constituency of Newton-North Delta and served as the federal NDP employment and social development critic and the immigration critic.
Prior to her election as a Member of Parliament she was president of the BC Teachers’ Federation from 2004 to 2007.
She is expected to be in the cabinet and will do a good job in whatever portfolio is assigned to her.
Jagrup Brar defeated liberal heavy weight Peter Fassbender from Surrey-Fleetwood and is hoping to be in the cabinet. He was first elected in October 2004 during a by-election with 6,740 votes. He was re-elected in 2005 and 2009 elections.
Prior to getting involved in politics Jagrup worked in both the public and non-profit sectors, helping professionals develop their careers.
He is seen as a hard working MLA and will do a great job if called to serve in the cabinet.
Ravi Kahlon: Although he is elected as an MLA for the first time he has been involved with the NDP for a number of years. He was a staff member for the NDP caucus for the last few years.
Kahlon, a former Olympic field hockey star, will do a great job if called to serve into the cabinet. He is young, energetic and is extremely hard working. He is passionate about making a positive change in society and serving his constituents. I would love to see him in the cabinet.
Rachna Singh is a first time MLA having been elected from Surrey–Green Timbers. The riding was previously represented by Sue Hammell since 2005.
Singh is a trade union activist who worked for the Canadian Union of Public Employees in Alberta and British Columbia.
She is also an anti-racist activist who hosted a forum in Surrey to raise awareness about growing white supremacy in the wake of Donald Trump's election as U.S. president.
Her political activism comes from her family as her grandfather was involved in the Indian independence movement.
She is likely to be awarded a minister of state position and will be hard working minster and MLA.
Harinder Mahil is a community activist and is a member of the board of directors of the Dr. Hari Sharma Foundation.