Harinder Takhar

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Harinder Takhar
Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament
for Mississauga—Erindale
Mississauga Centre (2003-2007)
Assumed office
October 2, 2003
Preceded by Rob Sampson
Personal details
Born Harinder Jeet Singh Takhar
1951 (age 65–66)
Punjab, India
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Balwinder
Children 2
Residence Mississauga, Ontario
Alma mater MA Guru Nanak Dev University
BA Punjabi University
Occupation Businessman

Harinder Jeet Singh Takhar (born c. 1951) is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He is a Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario who was elected in 2003. he represents the riding of Mississauga—Erindale. He served in the cabinets of Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne.


Takhar was born to a Sikh family in the Indian state of Punjab, with a background in farming and civil service work.[1] He moved to Canada in 1974, and arrived in Mississauga, Ontario in 1977. He obtained a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in economics and political science. He has certified as a CMA. He has taught CMA and CGA accredited courses at Sheridan College for thirteen years. Takhar worked for such companies as AGRA Industries Limited, Linear Technology Inc./Gennum Corporation and Timex Canada Inc. He served as the president and chief executive officer of the Chalmers Group of Companies until his election to the Ontario legislature.[2]

Takhar received the 2001 Community Service Award from the Society of Management Accountants of Ontario for "demonstrating selflessness and kindness for the benefit of society." He lives with his wife Balwinder and their two daughters in Mississauga.[3]


Takhar ran in the 2003 provincial election as the Liberal candidate in the riding of Mississauga Centre. He defeated Progressive Conservative incumbent Rob Sampson by 2,620 votes.[4] He ran again in 2007 in the redistributed riding of Mississauga—Erindale defeating PC candidate David Brow by 6,638 votes.[5] He was re-elected in 2011.[6] While it was initially reported that he intended to retire, he changed his mind about running and was re-elected in June 2014.[7][8]

He was appointed Minister of Transportation on October 23, 2003, by Premier Dalton McGuinty. He is the first Indian-Canadian to hold a cabinet post in Ontario.[9]

In June 2005, Takhar faced criticism after he was caught visiting his company despite it having been placed in a blind trust when he joined the cabinet. Cabinet ministers are required to keep an arms-length relationship with any business they own to avoid a conflict of interest. Premier McGuinty admitted that Takhar had shown poor judgement. Takhar claimed that he was visiting the company only to speak with his wife, who is the company's CEO.[10]

The matter was sent to the province's Integrity Commissioner which issued a decision on January 4, 2006, that Takhar had violated the province's integrity guidelines by failing to maintain an arms-length relationship with the trustee of his blind trust. Following the release of the decision, McGuinty issued a statement that he would not fire Takhar.[11] Takhar was reassigned to the new position of Minister of Small Business and Entrepreneurship on May 23, 2006.[12]

In September 2008, Takhar was reappointed to a slightly revised cabinet post of Minister of Small Business and Consumer Services.[13] In June 2009, Takhar's moved to the positions of Minister of Government Services.[14]

He resigned from Cabinet in 2012 in order to stand as a candidate in the 2013 Liberal leadership convention to choose McGuinty's successor.[15] Takhar came in fourth place with 11.3% of the vote on the first ballot after which he withdrew to endorse Sandra Pupatello who went on to lose to Kathleen Wynne.[16]

On February 11, 2013, Wynne reappointed Takhar to position of Minister of Government Services and also made him the Management Board Chair.[17] On May 8, 2013 he resigned from cabinet after being hospitalized with chest pains.[18]

He remains in the legislature as a backbench MPP.[19]

Cabinet positions[edit]

Provincial Government of Kathleen Wynne
Cabinet post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Dwight Duncan Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet
2013 (February–May)
Charles Sousa
Provincial Government of Dalton McGuinty
Cabinet posts (3)
Predecessor Office Successor
Ted McMeekin Minister of Government Services
Dwight Duncan
New ministry Minister of Small Business and Consumer Services
Ted McMeekin
[note 1]
Sandra Pupatello
[note 2]
Frank Klees Minister of Transportation
Donna Cansfield

Electoral record[edit]

Ontario general election, 2014
** Preliminary results — Not yet official **
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Harinder Takhar 25,174 48.83 +3.80
Progressive Conservative Jeff White 15,375 29.82 -5.88
New Democratic Michelle Bilek 7,745 15.02 -2.00
Green Vivek Gupta 1,196 2.32 +0.45
Libertarian Christopher Jewell 892 1.73
None of the Above Greg Vezina 706 1.37
Family Coalition Nabila Kiyani 469 0.91
Total valid votes 51,557 100.00
Liberal hold Swing +4.84
Source: Elections Ontario[8]
Ontario general election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Harinder Takhar 20,552 45.0 -2.6
Progressive Conservative David Brown 16,294 35.7 +2.5
New Democratic Michelle Bilek 7,768 17.0 -5.6
Green Otto Casanova 853 1.9 -5.9
Freedom Gerald Jackson 176 0.4
Total valid votes 45,643 100.0
Ontario general election, 2007
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Harinder Takhar 21,294 47.6% N/A
Progressive Conservative David Brown 14,838 33.2% N/A
New Democratic Shaila Kibria 5,117 11.4% N/A
Green Richard Pietro 3,495 7.8% N/A
Ontario general election, 2003
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Harinder Takhar 18,466 47.45 +7.19
Progressive Conservative Rob Sampson 15,846 40.72 -10.91
New Democratic Michael Miller 3,237 8.32 +3.29
Green Jeffrey Scott Smith 776 1.99
Family Coalition John R. Lyall 588 1.51




  1. ^ "The Candidates: Harinder Takhar". The Gazette. January 18, 2013. Retrieved May 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ Battagello, Dave (November 6, 2003). "Border 'top priority,' new minister vows". The Windsor Star. p. A2. 
  3. ^ Cooper, John (September 2001). "On their own". CMA Management. 75 (6): 16–21. 
  4. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. October 2, 2003. 
  5. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 10, 2007. p. 8 (xvii). 
  6. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 6, 2011. p. 10. 
  7. ^ "MPP Frank Klees won’t seek re-election". Toronto Star. January 21, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "General Election by District: Mississauga-Erindale". Elections Ontario. June 12, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Premier Dalton McGuinty and his 22-member cabinet were sworn in Thursday". Canadian Press NewsWire. October 23, 2003. p. 1. 
  10. ^ Wass, Joel (June 16, 2005). "Takhar's visit to Chalmers Group a 'lapse in judgment,' McGuinty says". Canadian Press NewsWire. 
  11. ^ Livingston, Gillian (January 4, 2006). "Premier stands by Takhar despite ruling he violated Integrity Act". Canadian Press NewsWire. 
  12. ^ Erwin, Steve (May 24, 2006). "Sorbara back in cabinet: McGuinty shuffles deck after former minister cleared in RCMP probe". Kingston Whig - Standard. pp. 1, 11. 
  13. ^ "The new-look Ontario cabinet". The Hamilton Spectator. September 19, 2008. p. A9. 
  14. ^ Werner, Kevin (June 26, 2009). "McMeekin gets new portfolio". Flamborough Review. Waterdown, Ont. p. 1. 
  15. ^ Cohn, Martin (November 25, 2012). "Takhar candidacy a sad throwback". Toronto Star. p. A12. 
  16. ^ Benzie, Robert; Ferguson, Rob; Brennan, Richard (January 27, 2013). "Wynne triumphs, makes history: Opponents deliver victory for 'spectacular' candidate". Toronto Star. p. A1. 
  17. ^ "Ontario's new cabinet". Waterloo Region Record. Kitchener, Ont. February 12, 2013. p. A3. 
  18. ^ Stewart, John (May 8, 2013). "Harinder Takhar resigns cabinet post, citing health issues". Mississauga News. p. 1. 
  19. ^ "Ontario cabinet shuffled after Takhar taken ill; Milloy given portfolio". Globe and Mail. Toronto. May 8, 2013. 

External links[edit]