Bardish Chagger

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bardish Chagger
Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth
In office
November 20, 2019 – October 26, 2021
Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau
Preceded byPosition created
Succeeded byAhmed Hussen (Diversity and Inclusion)
Marci Ien (Youth)
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
In office
August 19, 2016 – November 20, 2019
Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau
Preceded byDominic LeBlanc
Succeeded byPablo Rodríguez
Minister of Small Business and Tourism
In office
November 4, 2015 – July 18, 2018
Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau
Preceded byMaxime Bernier
Succeeded byMelanie Joly (Tourism)
Mary Ng (Small Business)
Member of Parliament
for Waterloo
Assumed office
October 19, 2015
Preceded byRiding established
Personal details
Born (1980-04-06) April 6, 1980 (age 44)
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Political partyLiberal
Alma materUniversity of Waterloo
ProfessionCommunity organizer

Bardish Chagger PC MP (born April 6, 1980) is a Canadian politician who served as a Cabinet minister from 2015 to 2021. A member of the Liberal Party, Chagger has sat in the House of Commons as the Member of Parliament for the riding of Waterloo since the 2015 federal election.[1][2]

Chagger previously held the portfolios of Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism.[3] Chagger was the first female Leader of the Government in the House of Commons in the history of Canada.

Despite being the "key driver" behind the government's decision in the WE Charity controversy in 2020, Chagger declined to resign after her involvement in the scandal. She was later removed from Cabinet in 2021.[4][5][6]

Early life and education[edit]

Chagger's parents immigrated to Waterloo from Punjab, India in the 1970s. Her family is Sikh.[7] Her father, Gurminder "Gogi" Chagger, was active in the Liberal Party and an admirer of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Chagger's first involvement in politics came in the 1993 federal election as a 13-year-old volunteer for Andrew Telegdi's successful campaign in Waterloo.[8]

She attended the University of Waterloo, with aspirations to become a nurse, but she subsequently became an executive assistant to Telegdi, who represented Waterloo in the House of Commons for the Liberals from 1993 to 2008.[8]

Chagger graduated from the University of Waterloo with a bachelor of science degree.[9] After Telegedi's defeat in 2008, Chagger became a director of special events for the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre.[9]

Federal politics[edit]

Chagger volunteered for Justin Trudeau's 2013 party leadership bid, and subsequently became the Liberal Party's candidate in the newly reconstituted Waterloo riding. She took 49.7% of the vote and defeated two-term Conservative incumbent Peter Braid, who had earlier ousted her former employer Andrew Telegdi.[8][9]

Minister for Small Business and Tourism[edit]

On November 4, 2015, Chagger was sworn in as Minister of Small Business and Tourism.[10]

As a result of the July 18, 2018 cabinet shuffle, Chagger's responsibilities for Small Business were given to Mary Ng, and Mélanie Joly took on the responsibilities of Tourism.[11] She was later appointed to the role of Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, which she held until 2021.[12]

Leader of the Government in the House of Commons[edit]

On August 19, 2016, Chagger was sworn in as Leader of the Government in the House of Commons replacing Dominic Leblanc in the position. She retained her responsibilities as Minister of Small Business and Tourism until the July 18, 2018 cabinet shuffle.[3]

On March 10, 2017, Chagger in her role as Government House Leader released a discussion paper titled Modernization of the Standing Orders of the House of Commons[13] which sought to implement different ways that House of Commons procedure and practice could be improved to be more accountable, predictable and available to all Members of Parliament, and the public. The modernization paper suggested reforms to the House of Commons such as the implementation of electronic voting, the curtailment of Friday sittings, the reformation of Question Period, including a Prime Minister's Question Period, changes to the process of prorogation, greater powers for the Speaker to separate votes and committee studies on omnibus bills and legislative programming.

Opposition members of Parliament were concerned with the reforms proposed in the discussion paper, in particular with proposals to implement legislative programming and the elimination or change of Friday sittings in the House of Commons. In late April 2017, Chagger sent a letter to her counterparts, then New Democratic Party House Leader Murray Rankin and Conservative House Leader Candice Bergen, to inform them that the government would be abandoning several of the key proposals that were part of the modernization paper, such as changes to the Friday sitting, legislative programming, and electronic voting.[14] They would continue however with proposals that were explicitly part of the 2015 Liberal election platform, including the decision to have a Prime Minister's Question Period, requiring the government to issue a report following the use of prorogation, and allowing the speaker of the House of Commons to separate votes or committee studies on different parts of a bill that he or she deems to be omnibus.[15]

WE Charity Ethics Investigation[edit]

In July 2020, Chagger was the first witness who testified in front of a parliamentary committee investigating awarding of a sole-sourced contract to run Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) to WE Charity, an organization with ties to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau. Chagger was the one who signed the contracts with WE Charity, and had met with WE Charity days before student program was announced by Trudeau.[16][17] Originally it was reported that WE charity would get a payment of at least $19.5 million, later it was disclosed that the contract was paying them up to $43.5 million to run student volunteer grant program. Chagger testified that it was the public service that recommended the grant program be outsourced to a third party via a contribution agreement, specifically it was Assistant Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Development Rachel Wernick.[18]

Removal from Cabinet[edit]

The Prime Minister removed Chagger from Cabinet in 2021, less than two years after holding the role of Government House Leader, one of the most prominent Cabinet roles.[6] Chagger declined to speculate why she was removed entirely from Cabinet.[19] She has remained a backbench Member of Parliament since, and the Prime Minister has declined to return her to Cabinet.[20]

Electoral record[edit]

2021 Canadian federal election: Waterloo
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Bardish Chagger 26,926 45.1 -3.7 $107,712.63
Conservative Meghan Shannon 16,528 27.7 +3.2 $61,976.35
New Democratic Jonathan Cassels 11,360 19.0 +3.8 $11,709.64
People's Patrick Doucette 2,802 4.7 +3.0 $7,490.55
Green Karla Villagomez Fajardo 2,038 3.4 -6.3 $4,629.92
Total valid votes/Expense limit 59,654 99.4 $115.523.52
Total rejected ballots 353 0.6
Turnout 60,007 69.4
Eligible voters 86,456
Liberal hold Swing -3.5
Source: Elections Canada[21]
2019 Canadian federal election: Waterloo
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Bardish Chagger 31,085 48.8 -0.9 $107,088.00
Conservative Jerry Zhang 15,615 24.5 -7.8 $84,796.68
New Democratic Lori Campbell 9,710 15.2 +0.3 none listed
Green Kirsten Wright 6,184 9.7 +6.8 none listed
People's Erika Traub 1,112 1.7 $5,385.50
Total valid votes/expense limit 63,706 100.0   112,180.38
Total rejected ballots 417 0.65 +0.33
Turnout 64,123 74.76 -2.9
Eligible voters 85,761
Liberal hold Swing +3.45
Source: Elections Canada,[22] Global News[23]
2015 Canadian federal election: Waterloo
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Bardish Chagger 29,752 49.7 +11.38 $140,131.74
Conservative Peter Braid 19,318 32.3 -9.08 $148,370.13
New Democratic Diane Freeman 8,928 14.9 -0.04 $96,964.67
Green Richard Walsh 1,713 2.9 -1.78
Animal Alliance Emma Hawley-Yan 138 0.2 $4,066.17
Total valid votes/expense limit 59,849 100.0     $212,120.63
Total rejected ballots 198
Turnout 60,047
Eligible voters 77,312
Source: Elections Canada[24][25]


  1. ^ "Liberal Chagger takes Waterloo", Waterloo Region Record, 20 October 2015.
  2. ^ "19 Indian-Canadians elected to Canadian parliament". The Economic Times. 20 October 2015. Archived from the original on 11 November 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Bardish Chagger adds government House leader to small business, tourism duties". CBC News. 19 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Documents requested by House prove youth minister was key driver in WE decision: NDP - National |". Global News. Retrieved 2024-01-22.
  5. ^ Norris, Craig (2020-07-21). "Waterloo MP Chagger says she won't resign over WE Charity scandal". CBC News.
  6. ^ a b "Waterloo MP Bardish Chagger loses post in Trudeau's cabinet shuffle |". Global News. Retrieved 2024-01-14.
  7. ^ D'Amato, Luisa (15 December 2017). "Bardish Chagger's politics are always local, and her office rarely locked". Waterloo Region Record. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  8. ^ a b c Mercer, Greg (27 October 2015). "Newly elected Waterloo MP Bardish Chagger loves the political life". The Waterloo Region Record. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  9. ^ a b c "Waterloo MP Bardish Chagger named to Justin Trudeau's cabinet". CBC News. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  10. ^ Record Staff, Waterloo MP Chagger named to federal cabinet, The Waterloo Region Record, November 4, 2015
  11. ^ Harris, Kathleen (July 18, 2018). "Trudeau cabinet shuffle brings new faces, several changes for run-up to 2019 campaign". CBC News. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  12. ^ CBC News (2019-11-20). "Waterloo MP Bardish Chagger named minister of diversity and inclusion and youth". CBC News.
  13. ^ Office, Privy Council (2017-03-10). "Reforming the Standing Orders of the House of Commons". aem. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  14. ^ "Government House Leader Bardish Chagger's letter to her opposition counterparts | Government". Scribd. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  15. ^ "Liberals shelve House of Commons reform plans after opposition criticism - National |". 2017-04-30. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  16. ^ "Liberal minister Bardish Chagger met with WE Charity days before student program was announced by Trudeau". 2020-07-20. Retrieved 2020-08-02.
  17. ^ "Waterloo MP Chagger says she won't resign over WE Charity scandal". CBC News. Jul 21, 2020. Retrieved Aug 2, 2020.
  18. ^ "Trudeau government was willing to pay WE Charity up to $43.5M to run student volunteer grant program". National Post. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  19. ^ "Q&A: Waterloo MP Bardish Chagger addresses ousting from Liberal cabinet". Kitchener. 2021-11-02. Retrieved 2024-01-14.
  20. ^ "ROLES - HON. BARDISH CHAGGER". House of Commons. 2024-01-14.
  21. ^ "List of confirmed candidates – September 20, 2021 Federal Election". Elections Canada. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  22. ^ "List of confirmed candidates". Elections Canada. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  23. ^ "Canada election results: Waterloo". GlobalNews. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  24. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Waterloo, 30 September 2015
  25. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates Archived 2015-08-15 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

29th Ministry – Cabinet of Justin Trudeau
Cabinet posts (3)
Predecessor Office Successor
Position established Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth
November 20, 2019 – October 26, 2021
Ahmed Hussen
(Diversity and Inclusion)
Marci Ien (Youth)
Dominic LeBlanc Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
August 19, 2016 – November 20, 2019
Pablo Rodriguez
Maxime Bernier Minister of Small Business and Tourism
November 4, 2015 – July 18, 2018
Mary Ng
(Small Business)
Melanie Joly (Tourism)