Turban-wearing Sikh woman of Indian origin elected councillor in Canada’s Brampton

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Navjit Kaur Brar, an Indo-Canadian health care worker has become the first turban-wearing Sikh woman to be elected as a city councillor of Brampton city in Canada.

Brar, a respiratory therapist, was on Monday elected the Brampton city Councillor in the recent municipal council polls after she won the race in Wards 2 and 6.

A mother of three, Brar beat Jermaine Chambers, a former Conservative MP candidate for Brampton West, as she secured 28.85 per cent of the votes cast.

Chambers, the nearest contender received 22.59 per cent and Carmen Wilson came in third at 15.41 per cent, the Brampton Guardian reported.

Brar focused on three areas — building new infrastructure, reducing crime and improving road safety.

Brar said she planned to work hard to represent all demographics in her ward. “I’m excited. I’m so proud of all Bramptonians who have voted, making sure our voices are being heard more than ever before,” she said before the announcement.
As part of her campaign, she knocked on over 40,000 doors and spoke to over 22,500 residents in the last two months.

“I am so proud of @Navjitkaurbrar. She was a selfless and dedicated front-line health care worker during the pandemic. She has stepped up for public service and I am confident she will be a phenomenal addition to Brampton City Council,” Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, who won a second term in the recent election, tweeted.

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Brar, who previously ran as the Ontario NDP candidate in Brampton West, had lost to the current Progressive Conservative MPP Amarjot Sandhu.

Another Sikh candidate, Gurpartap Singh Toor, knocked off his opponent Gurpreet Dhillon in Wards 9 and 10 by a scant 227 votes.

The report said as many as 40 Punjabis were in the fray for Brampton civic elections and only 87,155 of the 3,54,884 eligible voters turned up to cast ballots, an abysmal voter turnout of approximately 24.56 per cent.

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The Indo-Canadian community, along with the councillor candidates, had raised concerns over the election date overlapping with Diwali, one of the most-awaited festivals celebrated by the large swathe of Indian diaspora in Canada.

“It is very problematic that the elections are taking place on Diwali day, especially the municipal election that has always seen a low voter turnout,” said Gurpratap Singh Toor.

Elections for municipal government are held every four years on the fourth Monday of October, which fell on October 24 this time.