Sikh Becomes Canada’s First Nonwhite Political Party Leader

Source: The New York Times


A lawyer from the Toronto area on Sunday became the first nonwhite leader of a major political party in Canada. The New Democratic Party gave Jagmeet Singh, a son of Indian immigrants and a Sikh, a resounding victory.

Mr. Singh, who wears a turban and garments associated with his faith, is a member of Ontario’s provincial legislature. He had no experience in federal politics and entered the party’s leadership contest relatively late.

Even so, he won 53.6 percent of the votes cast by party members. Charlie Angus, a member of Parliament from northwestern Ontario, finished second with about one third the votes that Mr. Singh received. The balloting had been expected to be just the first of several rounds scheduled to extend until the end of October.

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Singh pledged to support a list of traditional goals from the party’s platform, among them reducing income inequality, making housing affordable and tackling climate change. But he said he also wanted to make sure that no Canadian is stopped by the police because of his skin color.

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