The Sardar of British Columbia

With a Sikh Premier in charge, a new day dawns on a Canadian province.

On 24 February, Canada´s far-western province of British Columbia swore in its new premier. The reception was complete with samosas and a sitar and tabla performance, for the new provincial leader was a Sikh — Ujjal Dosanjh. This milestone for Canada´s Indo-Canadian community did not go unnoticed by the media, and for many Canadians, it was proof that the country´s multiculturalism policy is working.

The face of Canadian politics is indeed changing. Last year, Adrienne Clarkson, a Chinese-Canadian woman was appointed the country´s governor general, a symbolic yet high-profile position. A handful of Canadians of South Asian origin have been elected to the federal parliament and provincial legislatures. But no one has come even remotely close to leading a political party, let alone governing a province.

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Himal Southasian