15 Punjabis in fray for Alberta provincial elections in Canada


Sukhmeet Bhasin

Bathinda, May 23

As many as 15 candidates of Punjab origin are in the fray for the Alberta provincial elections in Canada for which the polling is scheduled to be held on May 29 for all 87 constituencies.

The two major political outfits — National Democratic Party (NDP) and United Conservative Party of Alberta (UCP) — are not only banking heavily on South Asians and Punjabis in particular, they have also given “adequate representation” to their communities by fielding them. Punjabis are mostly contesting in Calgary and Edmonton area seats.

The major Punjabi candidates who are contesting the polls are Rajan Sawhney (Cabinet Minister for Trade, Immigration and Multiculturism), contesting from Calgary North-West on a UCP ticket, MLA Devinder Toor, seeking re-election on a UCP ticket from Calgary-Falconridge and MLA Jasvir Deol, contesting from Edmonton Meadows on an NDP ticket.

In 2019, Sawhney had won from Calgary North-East riding and earlier this year, she had announced that she wouldn’t seek re-election from here, but after the UCP Environment Minister and sitting Calgary North West candidate Sonya Savage announced retirement from politics, UCP announced Sawhney as a candidate.

Sawhney has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Calgary, besides an MBA. Prior to her political stint, she worked in the oil and gas industry for over 20 years.

Rajan Sawhney said, “I will work hard every day to see Calgary North-West move forward with growth, prosperity amp; a more affordable Alberta because we can’t afford to go back to decline, high taxes amp; the failed policies of the NDP.”

The UCP has also fielded Amanpreet Singh Gill from Calgary-Bhullar-Mccall, Inder Grewal from Calgary North-East, R Singh Bath from Edmonton Ellerslie, Amritpal Singh Matharu from Edmonton Meadows and Raman Athwal from Edmonton Mill Woods.

Other Punjabi candidates fielded by the NDP are Gurinder Singh Gill from Calgary-Cross, Parmeet Singh Boparai from Calgary-Falconridge, Gurinder Brar from Calgary North-East, Harry Singh from Drayton Valley-Devon.

Aman Sandhu is contesting on a Green Party of Alberta (GPA) ticket from Calgary-Cross, Jeewan Mangat on Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta (WIPA) from Innisfail-Sylvan Lake and Braham Luddu on Alberta Party (AP) from Lethbridge-West.