Punjab native Rachna Singh first South Asian woman Education Minister in British Columbia


Sukhmeet Bhasin

Bathinda, December 8

A native of Punjab and a three-time MLA from Surrey Green Timber, Rachna Singh (49), created history today by becoming the first South Asian woman to become Education and Childcare Minister of British Columbia province in Canada. She is the second Punjabi after Moe Sihota to handle the portfolio.

Her parents Raghbir Singh and Mother Sulekha, besides sister Sirjana are teachers. Her becoming an education minister overseas is therefore significant for the family.

Rachna Singh said, “I’m really excited to take on this role and work with school boards, teachers and stakeholders to ensure all students have the support they need to be successful.”

Rachna said, “I am proud to be a part of the government that listens and cares for the people. We are committed to free and accessible education to all.” “We are committed to make sure all children receive a high quality education in safe classrooms. We have done a lot, but there is more to do,” said the new minister.

Rachna, who earlier worked as parliamentary secretary for racism in the Cabinet, continues to take part in anti-racism drives as well.

Prior to her election to the legislature, she worked as a psychologist and drug and alcohol counsellor. She became active in her local labour union and eventually became a national representative (staff) for the Canadian Union of Public Employees representing workers through advocacy in grievance handling and labour arbitration.

She moved to Canada along with her husband and children in 2001 and worked with CUPE as a social worker before being nominated as candidate for Surrey-Green Timbers by the NDP.

Studied at PU

Rachna Singh, who studied at Govt School, Sector 35, Chandigarh, did post-graduation in psychology from Panjab University, Chandigarh
While she was in India, she worked with the Red Cross Society and also served as a counsellor at a drug de-addiction centre