Jagmeet Singh

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Jagmeet Singh
ਜਗਮੀਤ ਸਿੰਘ

MPP Jagmeet Singh at his annual community BBQ in 2014 (cropped).jpg
Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament
for Bramalea—Gore—Malton
Assumed office
October 6, 2011
Preceded by Kuldip Kular
Personal details
Born (1979-01-02) January 2, 1979 (age 38)
Scarborough, Ontario
Political party New Democrat
Residence Brampton, Ontario
Profession Lawyer
Religion Sikhism

Jagmeet Singh Dhaliwal[1] (Punjabi: ਜਗਮੀਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਧਾਲੀਵਾਲ) (born January 2, 1979) is a Canadian politician in Ontario, Canada and the Deputy Leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party. He has represented the riding of Bramalea—Gore—Malton in Legislative Assembly of Ontario since his election in 2011. He is the first turban-wearing Sikh to sit as a Member of Provincial Parliament, as well as the first to hold a deputy leader position in Canada. Before entering politics, Singh was a trial lawyer. [2].

Early life and education[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.[3] He speaks English, French and Punjabi. Singh worked as a criminal defense lawyer in the Greater Toronto Area. He worked at the law firm Pinkofskys before establishing his own practice.[4] [5]

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.[6] 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.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Singh has competed in mixed martial arts in the U.S. and Canada in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.[7]

Singh has been recognized for his fashion and style sense in Canadian magazines and publications. Singh was named by Toronto Life magazine as one of the five youngest rising stars, featured in the top 10 best dressed of 2013 and most recently one of the 10 style icons featured in the 50th anniversary of Yorkdale Mall. Toronto Life also recognized Singh as one of the top 25 most stylish personalities in Toronto in 2013.

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.[7] 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.[8]

Federal politics[edit]

Singh provided pro bono consulting to an activist group that protested the visit to Canada of Kamal Nath, the Indian trade minister who had persecuted Sikhs and had allegedly led armed mobs during the 1984 Delhi pogrom.[9][10] After failing to get their views heard, Singh was persuaded to run for office by the activist group so their concerns could be better represented.[9]

Singh began his political career with his decision to run for Member of Parliament in the 2011 federal election as the NDP candidate in the riding of Bramalea—Gore—Malton.[9] During the election, Singh dropped his surname, which is connected to caste, because he wanted to signal his rejection of the inequality inherent in the caste system. Instead he chose to use Singh which reflects the spiritual belief in an egalitarian society where all enjoy equitable access to rights and justice. [9] He was defeated by Conservative candidate Bal Gosal by 539 votes.[11][12]

Provincial politics[edit]

Singh ran in the 2011 Ontario provincial election as the NDP candidate in the same riding, and defeated Liberal incumbent Kuldip Kular by 2,277 votes.[12][13] Singh became the first Ontario NDP MPP to represent the Peel Region as well as the first turban-wearing MPP.[12][14] In the 40th Parliament of Ontario, Singh was appointed as the NDP critic for the Attorney General of Ontario and for the Consumer Services.[15]

Singh currently sits as his party's critic for issues concerning Attorney General of Ontario and the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. Singh also serves as his party's Deputy House Leader.

Auto Insurance[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.[16]

In March 2013, Singh introduced a Motion to the Ontario Legislature calling on the Liberal Government to reduce auto insurance premiums by 15%.[17] Singh's motion was accepted by the Legislature, and the 15% reduction would be included in the Liberal Government's 2013 Provincial budget.[18]

In November 2014, Singh voted against the Liberal Governments Legislation entitled "Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Rates Act", after revealing major shortcomings in the legislation regarding the driver's right to sue auto insurance companies. Singh said "Removing more protections for people is not the right way to go, It's a significant loss of our rights, and this is not a good bill." [19]

Tarion Home Warranty Corp.[edit]

in November 2015, Singh introduced a Private Member's Bill to the Ontario Legislature regarding the private corporation, TarionHome Warranty. Tarion was created by the provincial government in 1976 to be the provincial regulators of the provinces new home building industry.[20]

Singh's proposed legislation would allow the Ontario Ombudsman the jurisdiction to investigate the practices of the private corporation, as well as force Tarion to produce a detailed track record of their builds, while also including all of their employees who make over $100,000 on the Ontario Sunshine list. The proposed legislation would also subject Tarion bylaws to the approval of the provincial government.[21]

Sikh Heritage Month[edit]

In December 2013, legislation introduced by Singh to have the month of April recognized as Sikh Heritage Month in the province of Ontario was passed by the Legislature.[22] In a statement after the passing of this legislation, Singh stated that “This will be an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about Sikh Canadians and the important role that they have played and continue to play in communities across Ontario,”

Police Accountability[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."[23]

Police Carding[edit]

In October 2015, Singh introduced a motion calling on the Provincial Government to instruct police services in Ontario to end arbitrary street checks, known as carding.[24]

On October 22, 2015, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario unanimously passed Singh's motion calling for an end to police carding.[25]

Ornge Air Ambulance[edit]

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."[26]

Overseas Money Transfers[edit]

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.[27] The bill died on the order paper when the legislature was prorogued in September 2012.[28]

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions[edit]

In December 2016, Singh spoke out against the motion introduced by Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario MPP Gila Martow, calling for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to denounce the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign in the province.[29]

Office of the Integrity Commissioner (Ontario)[edit]

In June 2015, Singh was chastised by Ontario's integrity commissioner for the improper use of his legislative resources meant for his constituency office for partisan purposes.[30] The integrity commissioner's report found that in March 2015, Singh had improperly allowed his constituency office in Brampton to organize bus trips to take supporters to a partisan federal NDP rally in Toronto and that Singh's inclusion of a donation link on his constituency website contravened parliamentary convention.[30] Because Singh did not intentionally break the ethics policy and had proactively acted to fix the breaches when alerted, he was not fined or otherwise punished, and the integrity commissioner only recommended that Singh's staff undergo additional training.[30]

Alberta general election, 2015[edit]

During the Alberta general election in May 2015, Singh campaigned on behalf of the Alberta New Democratic Party to reach out to South Asian voters on behalf of Irfan Sabir, who was elected in Calgary-McCall.and was appointed to Rachel Notley's cabinet as Minister of Social Services.[31]

Federal Leadership[edit]

After Tom Mulcair lost a leadership review vote at the 2016 federal NDP convention, Singh was considered as potential leadership candidate, winning the support of 11% of NDP members in a Mainstreet Research poll conducted in April 2016, and was statistically tied for second place. [32] Singh is also considered a leading candidate to replace Horwath as NDP leader if she loses the 42nd Ontario general election.[10][33]


  1. ^ http://www.jagmeetsingh.ca/meetjagmeet
  2. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/01/02/jagmeet-singh-ndp-leadership-ontario-mpp_n_13832878.html
  3. ^ http://jagmeetsingh.ca/bio/
  4. ^ "MPP likes the finer things". Mississauga News. 22 December 2011. Archived from the original on 14 January 2012. 
  5. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/01/02/jagmeet-singh-ndp-leadership-ontario-mpp_n_13832878.html
  6. ^ Ontario NDP » Jagmeet Singh
  7. ^ a b c Benzie, Robert (January 9, 2012). "12 to watch in 2012: Jagmeet Singh". Toronto Star. 
  8. ^ "WSO's 2012 List of Honorees". World Sikh Organization of Canada. 
  9. ^ a b c d Tancock, Martha (2014). Number One. The York University Magazine. p. 20. 
  10. ^ a b Mann, Arshy (November 17, 2014). "The most interesting man at Queen's Park". Canadian Lawyer Magazine. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Riding results from across Canada". Edmonton Journal. May 3, 2011. p. A6. 
  12. ^ a b c "Ontario NDP's Singh throws heck of a victory rally". CBC News. Oct 7, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 6, 2011. p. 2. Retrieved 2014-03-02. [permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Taber, Jane (June 5, 2015). "NDP MPP Jagmeet Singh's quest to quash carding in Ontario". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 22, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Jagmeet Singh, MPP (Bramalea—Gore—Malton)". www.ontla.on.ca. Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Retrieved 2016-04-22. 
  16. ^ http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet=&BillID=2590
  17. ^ http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2013/03/27/liberals_will_support_ndp_call_for_15_auto_insurance_cut.html
  18. ^ http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2013/05/02/ontario_budget_2013_opposition_dubious_of_liberals_pledge_to_cut_auto_insurance_premiums.html
  19. ^ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/auto-insurance-bill-passes-in-ontario-legislature-1.2841928
  20. ^ http://www.tarion.com/Warranty-Protection/Documents/CPG%203rd%20Edition%20Jan%201.pdf
  21. ^ http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2014/12/10/ontario_bill_would_force_tarion_to_publish_detailed_information_about_builders_track_records.html
  22. ^ http://www.bramptonguardian.com/news-story/4265430-brampton-mpp-s-bill-passes-to-create-sikh-heritage-month/
  23. ^ "MPP wants new SIU laws". Brampton Guardian. MetroLand Media. December 17, 2011. 
  24. ^ http://www.ontariondp.ca/ndp_deputy_leader_introduces_motion_to_end_carding_in_ontario
  25. ^ http://www.torontosun.com/g00/2015/10/22/legislature-against-arbitrary-carding-by-police?i10c.referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.ca%2F
  26. ^ "NDPer wants details on ORNGE". Mississauga News. January 13, 2012. p. 1. 
  27. ^ http://www.mississauga.com/news-story/3134048-mpp-s-bill-aims-to-cut-costs-of-international-money-transfers/
  28. ^ http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&BillID=2646&isCurrent=false&detailPage=bills_detail_the_bill
  29. ^ http://www.torontosun.com/2016/12/01/ontario-mpps-reject-bds-movement
  30. ^ a b c Ferguson, Rob (June 26, 2015). "NDP deputy leader Jagmeet Singh chastised by integrity commissioner". Toronto Star. Retrieved April 22, 2016. 
  31. ^ Smith, Joanna (July 2, 2015). "Ontario NDP deputy leader Jagmeet Singh helped court South Asian vote — in Alberta". Toronto Star. Retrieved April 22, 2016. 
  32. ^ Csanady, Ashley (April 20, 2016). "NDP leadership poll: Avi Lewis, Jagmeet Singh and Nathan Cullen are favourites to take party helm". The National Post. Retrieved April 22, 2016. 
  33. ^ Cohn, Martin Regg (October 8, 2016). "Leaderless NDP looks to rising star Jagmeet Singh: Cohn". thestar.com. The Toronto Star. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 

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