Punjabi now third most represented language in Canadian House of Commons


Toronto : Punjabis’ influence in Canada reached a new high when Punjabi became the third most common language in the country’s House of Commons, after English and French. The recent elections in the country saw 20 Punjabi speaking candidates securing a place in the Parliament.

These 20 new lawmakers are among the 23 Indian origin candidates who secured a victory in the October 19 General elections, said a Hill Times report.

The Cabinet of Justin Trudeau, who is the Prime Minister-designate, which will be revealed later this week, is expected to include some Punjabi speaking legislators as well.

According to Liberal Party’s Navdeep Bains, these 20 lawmakers will represent all the constituents, irrespective of their party or ethnicity. He was quoted as saying, “It speaks to our commitment to diversity and allowing individual to play an important role in our political institutions,”

“The main issue to understand is that we have a very clear mandate to execute our platform and we also have a responsibility to represent our constituents, which are very diverse,” he said further.

Conservative party’s Deepak Obhrai said, “The voice of the Indo-Canadian community will now be very well represented in the parliament. In the overall aspect of it, the South Asian community won,”.

As many as 430,705 Canadians regard Punjabi as their mother tongue, according to the 2011 National Household Survey. This number is the third largest, after English and French.

While only 1.3% of the entire Canadian population comprises native Punjabi speakers, the newly elected 20 Punjabi speaking legislators make up almost 6 per cent of the country’s democratically elected house.

(With inputs from Hill Times)