Amritdhari Sikhs Hold Cabinet Positions in a Country for First Time Since Sikh Kingdom

Harjit Singh Sajjan named Canada's Minister of National Defence in Justin Trudeau's government
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File Photo: Lt. Col. Harjit Singh Sajjan
File Photo: Lt. Col. Harjit Singh Sajjan

ONTARIO, Canada—Four Canadian MPs from Sikh backgrounds have been included in the recently announced ministry of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.  Along with the Sikh faces, Punjabi has become the third official language of the Parliament.

File Photo: Navdeep Singh Bains
File Photo: Navdeep Singh Bains

Out of the four MPs, two are turbaned, amritdhari (baptised) Sikhs, namely Navdeep Singh Bains elected MP from Mississauga-Malton, Ontario and Lt. Col. Harjit Singh Sajjan, elected MP from Vancouver, BC. Bains has been nominated as the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development while Sajjan is the Minister of National Defense.  Lt. Col. Harjit Singh Sajjan was a guard for Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Canada.  This is the first time in history that a Sikh will lead command of an army outside of Punjab and India.

Followed by the two Sardars, Bardish Chagger, elected MP from Waterloo, Ontario has been named the Minister of Small Business and Tourism.  Amarjeet Sohi, elected MP from Edmonton, Alberta is the Minister of Infrastructure, and Communities.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has carved out his cabinet with an excellent balance of regional representation, ethnicity, religion, language, and gender.


  1. PM Trudeu’s choice of Lt.-Col. Harjit Sajjan as Canada’s Defence Minister is brilliant. Lt.-Col. Harjit Sajjan is one of the few defense ministers in the world who has actual, boots on the ground, hands on experience as a successful combat soldier. As such, he understands the problems and challenges faced by real soldiers, sailors and airmen. As a Lt. Colonel, Harjit is not part of the General Staff so he is not heavily invested in their programs. Therefore, Harjit will be able to take a fresh look at programs such as the failed F-35 program that has produced an aircraft that is overpriced and not competitive with other 5th generation military aircraft from Russia or China. Canada should revisit the F-22 now that billions of dollars have been spent working out the bugs in this aircraft. Perhaps Canada can convince Lockheed Martin to restart the F-22 assembly lines and sell the F-22 to Canada at a deep discount :-)


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