Christy Wants To Make History With First Turbaned BC Liberal MLA But NDP’s Got One Possibility Too

SURREY – Two mainstream media outlets this week – the Province newspaper and CBC News – both ran stories about how two turbaned Sikh candidates – one for the BC Liberals and one for the NDP – want to create history by being the first turbaned Sikh MLA in BC.

The CBC tied it up with this month marking 70 years since Sikhs were given the right to vote in British Columbia but the story seems to be created by the BC Liberals and leader Christy Clark, who was vocal in saying that her candidate Gurminder Parihar, a CA accountant who is fighting hard against incumbent NDP strongman Harry Bains, should be the first turbaned Sikh MLA, probably not knowing that NDP candidate Aman Singh, a lawyer, is also a Sikh and he too wants to become the first turbaned Sikhs to hold seats in the B.C. Legislature, although Singh was not as vocal as the BC Liberals

Both Parihar and Singh were out campaigning Saturday at the Vaisakhi festival in Surrey, which saw over 400,000 people turn out and is a gold mine for politicians of all stripes and this year being election year in BC – it was an even bigger deal.

Liberal leader Christy Clark introduced Parihar to the predominantly South Asian crowd and got a loud ovation.

“We have never had a turbaned Sikh elected to our Legislature in British Columbia and it is about time that we elected a turbaned Sikh,” Clark said.

Parihar, who is running in Surrey-Newton, said he’s grateful for the opportunity.

“It’s a great honour to me and all the Sikh community to have an MLA that would be a turbaned Sikh,” he said.

“We’re really thankful to Christy Clark and her team for putting confidence in us and especially me.”

Singh, who is running in the newly created riding of Richmond-Queensborough, was also out shaking hands and greeting voters in Surrey with his party colleagues.

The civil rights lawyer said he has no idea why a turbaned Sikh has never been elected at the provincial level but he’d love to be the first.

“That would mean the world to me,” Singh said.

“We’ve seen turbaned politicians federally but for some reason, it’s never happened in our legislature.

“You know what? I’m glad that it’s given me the chance to possibly make history. I’m okay with that.”

If Parihar and Singh are going to make history, they’re going to have to work for it, reported CBC News.

Parihar is running against long-time NDP MLA Bains, who has won by at least 3,000 votes in each of the last three elections.

Singh is facing a lesser challenger as he is going up against former TV reporter-turned Christy-Clark LNG pitchman Jas Johal, who is running for the Liberals.

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