Jagmeet Singh

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Jagmeet Singh
Ontario MPP
Incumbent
Assumed office
2011
Preceded by Kuldip Kular
Constituency Bramalea—Gore—Malton
Personal details
Born (1979-01-02) January 2, 1979 (age 35)
Scarborough, Ontario
Political party New Democrat
Residence Brampton, Ontario
Profession Lawyer

Jagmeet Singh Dhaliwal (born January 2, 1979) is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He is a New Democratic member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario who was elected in 2011. He represents the riding of Bramalea—Gore—Malton.

Background[edit]

Singh attended high school at the Detroit Country Day School, in Beverly Hills, Michigan, graduating in 1997. He obtained his B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Western Ontario in 2001 and his LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University in 2005. He was called to the Bar of the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2006.[1] He speaks English, French and Punjabi. Singh worked as a criminal defense lawyer in the Brampton and Mississauga area. He worked at a leading criminal defense firm before establishing his own practice.[2]

During his time as a lawyer he offered free legal rights seminars across Ontario and provided pro bono legal counsel for people and community organizations in need.[3] In a Toronto Star article published January 9, 2012, Singh stated that his background in criminal defense contributed to his decision to enter politics, particularly his work advocating for the protection of Charter rights.[4]

Singh is a mixed martial arts specialist who has competed in the U.S. and Canada in Brazilian jiu-jitsu — a form of “submission grappling” familiar to UFC fans.[4]

In January 2012, the Toronto Star named Singh one of Toronto's top 12 personalities to watch in 2012. calling Singh a trailblazer in Ontario politics.[4] Singh was recognized by the World Sikh Organization of Canada in their 2012 list of Honorees for being the first turbaned Sikh MPP in Ontario.[5]

Politics[edit]

Singh ran in 2011 federal election as the NDP candidate in the riding of Bramalea—Gore—Malton. He lost to Conservative candidate Bal Gosal by 539 votes.[6]

He was then recruited by the Ontario NDP (ONDP) to run as a candidate in the same riding for the provincial election which was held later in the same year. Singh noted a significant contribution by youth to his campaign which included a tribute bicycle ride to Jack Layton who had recently died. He said that his campaign headquarters was a "safe haven for young people... what I realized is there are not a lot of services like drop-in centres or places for kids to kind of get together. It’s a safe environment and a positive one as well."[4] He won the election defeating Liberal incumbent Kuldip Kular by 2,277 votes.[6][7] He faced Kular again in the 2014 election, this time defeating him by 5,627 votes.[8]

He is the party's critic for issues concerning the Attorney General of Ontario and the Ministry of Consumer Services.

Issues[edit]

Singh has called for greater police accountability and demanded the provincial government draft legislation to strengthen Ontario's Special Investigations Unit (SIU). He criticized the Ministry of the Attorney General following the release of a report by Ombudsman André Marin that found the province had undermined the SIU. Singh said, "The comprehensive failure of the ministry to address concerns about the SIU and give it a proper mandate is simply unacceptable, and I expect immediate action from the new Attorney General."[9]

Singh was a critic of the province’s handling of the Ornge Air Ambulance service and called for greater oversight of the agency. Ornge was the subject of an investigation that found the air ambulance service paid a $1.4 million salary to its president while failing to provide timely emergency services. Singh said, "No more flying blind at Ornge.... The people of Ontario have been paying the bills at Ornge with scarce health dollars. They deserve the facts about what's happened. A key first step is making executive contracts immediately available to the public."[10]

Private member's bills[edit]

In March 2012, Singh introduced a Private member's bill called "An Act to Amend the Insurance Act" to address high auto insurance rates. Singh wanted to remove the industry practice of basing insurance rates on geographic location. The bill failed to pass second reading.[11]

In May 2012, he introduced another private member's bill called "An Act to amend the Consumer Protection Act, 2002" to address high fees on overseas money transfers. The bill died on the order paper when the legislature was prorogued in September 2012.[12]

Human rights activity[edit]

Singh has been vocal on a number of human rights issues. On March 26, 2012, he issued a statement opposing the Government of India’s decision to hang Balwant Singh Rajoana.[13] In the statement Singh called for Canada and Ontario to urge India to abolish the death penalty, stating that “With a $1.3 Billion annual trade between Ontario and India, this government should demand our trading partners uphold the same humanitarian values as us Canadians.”[13] In June 2012, he gave a statement in remembrance of the Sikh genocide and June 1984 raid on the Golden Temple in Amritsar by the Indian government. Singh has also spoken out against human rights violations committed by the Sri Lankan government. He has advocated for the rights and freedoms of the Tibetan community and spoken against the persecution of the Falun Dafa practicing community by the Chinese government.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://jagmeetsingh.ca/bio/
  2. ^ Mississauga Article: MPP likes the finer things
  3. ^ Ontario NDP » Jagmeet Singh
  4. ^ a b c d Benzie, Robert (January 9, 2012). "12 to watch in 2012: Jagmeet Singh". Toronto Star. 
  5. ^ "WSO's 2012 List of Honorees". World Sikh Organization of Canada. 
  6. ^ a b "Riding results from across Canada". Edmonton Journal. May 3, 2011. p. A6. 
  7. ^ "Jagmeet Singh Wins". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 
  8. ^ "General Election by District: Bramalea-Gore-Malton". Elections Ontario. June 12, 2014. 
  9. ^ "MPP wants new SIU laws". Brampton Guardian (MetroLand Media). December 17, 2011. 
  10. ^ "NDPer wants details on ORNGE". Mississauga News. January 13, 2012. p. 1. 
  11. ^ Legislative Assembly of Ontario "Bill 45, Insurance Amendment Act (Risk Classification Systems for Automobile Insurance), 2012". Legislative Assembly of Ontario. June 7, 2012. 
  12. ^ Legislative Assembly of Ontario "Bill 98, Consumer Protection Amendment Act (Money Transfers), 2012". Legislative Assembly of Ontario. May 31, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Canadian Sikh MPP oppose death penalty to Balwant Singh Rajoana; UK Sikh body welcomes statement | Sikh Siyasat News (in English)
  14. ^ http://jagmeetsingh.ca/jagmeet-singh-a-defender-of-human-rights/

External links[edit]