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Ontario Appoints First Sikh-Canadian Woman Cabinet Minister

Premier Kathleen Wynne appointed 38-year-old Harinder Malhi, a Liberal Member of Provincial Parliament for Brampton-Springdale who moved 1984 Genocide Motion in the provincial parliament, as the Minister of the Status of Women.

TORONTO – The province of Ontario has appointed the first Sikh woman cabinet minister.

Harinder Malhi, who moved the 1984 Sikh genocide motion in Ontario provincial parliament last April, made history last week as she became the first Sikh-Canadian woman to be inducted into the Cabinet by Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Wynne appointed 38-year-old Malhi, a Liberal Member of Provincial Parliament for Brampton-Springdale, as the Minister of the Status of Women.

Malhi is the daughter of Canada’s first turbaned Sikh MP Gurbax Singh Malhi.

A motion moved by Malhi in last April in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario was passed by the House extending the official recognition to the 1984 riots as Sikh “genocide” in India, a move strongly rejected by New Delhi as “misguided”.

Indira Naidoo-Harris, another Indian-origin Member of Provincial Parliament for Halton, was promoted to Education Minister. She will remain 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,” the premier 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.

“That’s why it is also important to me that this updated Cabinet continues to reflect both the diversity and the geography of our province,” Wynne added.

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