Indo-Canadian Sikh MP Bardish Chagger has been named as the new Leader of the government in Canada’s House of Commons, becoming the first woman to hold the post in the country’s history.
Chagger, the 36-year-old Waterloo MP and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, was among 19 Indian-origin candidates who won in last year's general elections. She will be Replacing Dominic LeBlanc.
She was sworn-in as House Leader at Rideau Hall on Friday.
"This is a tremendous opportunity. I have been involved in the political process for basically my whole life,” Chagger told reporters on Parliament Hill after her swearing-in yesterday.
"I know what democracy should look like. Democracy should be engaging Canadians. That is the leadership of our prime minister and that's why the whole of government approach will work for Canada," she was quoted as saying by CBC News.
When asked, in a press conference Friday afternoon, how she was going to manage all the responsibilites, she replied, "I have never been a stranger to hard work.” She began her political life in the 1993 election as a volunteer when she was 13.
Chagger’s rise seems nothing short of meteoric, having won her first election just last October and being named small business minister in Justin Trudeau’s debut cabinet. She will retain her title as minister along with the new role.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his "confidence in minister Chagger as a worthy successor", the report said, citing a government statement.
On the first day on the job, Chagger said she "really does believe that we can all work together".
"...let's work with the team and let's get there," she said.
She is one of the four Sikh Canadians inducted into Trudeau's Cabinet besides Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan - a combat veteran who did three tours in Afghanistan as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi and Innovation Minister Navdeep Singh Bains.