Jagmeet Singh Dhaliwal is a Canadian lawyer and politician. He is the leader of the New Democratic Party since 2017 and the Member of Parliament for Burnaby South since 2019. He advocates raising the federal minimum wage to USD 15 an hour, decriminalizing personal possession of all drugs, and eliminating several tax deductions available to the highest-income earners.
About Jagmeet Singh in brief
Jagmeet Singh Dhaliwal is a Canadian lawyer and politician. He is the leader of the New Democratic Party since 2017 and the Member of Parliament for Burnaby South since 2019. Singh is the first turban-wearing Sikh to sit as a provincial legislator in Ontario. He advocates raising the federal minimum wage to USD 15 an hour, decriminalizing personal possession of all drugs, and supports eliminating several tax deductions available to the highest-income earners. Singh has publicly discussed suffering sexual abuse as a child, as well as having a father who was alcoholic and abusive. Singh was born on January 2, 1979, in Scarborough, Ontario, to Harmeet Kaur and Jagtaran Singh. His mother is from Ghudani Khurd, in Punjab’s Ludhiana district, while his father is from Thikriwala, in Barnala district. His great-grandfather is Hira Singh, who served in World War I and World War II in the Sikh Regiment of the British Indian Army. He has two younger siblings, brother Gurratan and sister Manjot, who were both born during the family’s time in Newfoundland. Singh’s younger brother was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in the 2018 Ontario election, representing the riding of Brampton East. He was called to the Bar of the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2006 and is a graduate of York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School in 2005. In 2012, Singh provided pro bono consulting to an activist group that protested the visit of Kamal Nath, the Indian trade minister who had allegedly led armed mobs during the 1984 Delhi pogrom.
After failing to get their views heard, Singh was inspired to run for office by the activist group so their concerns could be better represented. He chose to use his surname, Singh because he wanted to signal his rejection of the inherent inequality in the Indian caste system, instead of using the Indian name Dhaliwalk. Singh began his political career as a criminal defence lawyer. His political career began in 2011 where he contested the 2011 federal election in the federal Riding of Bramalea—Gore—Malton which resulted in a narrow victory for Conservative opponent Bal Gosal. In 2015, he became MPP in the overlapping provincial riding later that year. In 2017, he announced his candidacy for the federal New Democratic party leadership following a leadership review that resulted in the leadership election to replace Tom Mulcair. He became the first person of a visible minority group to lead a major Canadian federal political party on a permanent basis, and the second overall after the Bloc Québécois’s former interim leader Vivian Barbot. In the 2019 federal election, the New Democrats under Singh won 24 seats and dropped from third party to fourth party status. He has been widely recognized in Canadian media for his fashion and style sense. Singh is also known as both a progressive and a social democrat, and has been described as Jagmeet’s \”secret weapon\”.