Salma Zahid

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Salma Zahid

Zahid headshot.jpg
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Scarborough Centre
Assumed office
October 19, 2015
Preceded byRoxanne James
Personal details
BornCoventry, England, UK
  • Canada
  • Pakistan
Political partyLiberal
ResidenceScarborough, Toronto, Ontario
Alma materUniversity of London
Quaid-i-Azam University
AwardsQueen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

Salma Zahid MP is an English-born Pakistani-Canadian politician, who was elected as a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons of Canada to represent the federal riding of Scarborough Centre during the 2015 Canadian federal election. She succeeded the Conservative Roxanne James.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Zahid was born in Coventry, England. She holds a master's degree in educational management and administration from the University of London’s Institute of Education, and an MBA from Quaid e Azam University in Pakistan.[2] She is Pakistani Canadian, mother of 2 and has resided in Scarborough since 2000.[3] She is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.[4] Zahid was a community organizer and worked for the Government of Ontario in multiple positions before running in the election. [5]


Zahid was elected in the 2015 Canadian federal election as a Member of Parliament for Scarborough Centre (electoral district). While in the 42nd Parliament, Zahid had the role of Vice-Chair for the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, where she was a spokesperson for racialized women.[5] Zahid was also a member of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, where she advocated for efficient customer service and family reunification.[5] As a Member of Parliament, Zahid worked to designate the month of June as Filipino Heritage Month, which was unanimously passed by the House of Commons of Canada. [5]

In February 2018, Zahid announced that she was taking medical leave to treat her Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This was used by the Scarborough Centre Conservative Party of Canada Riding Association Vice President to sell memberships via robocall.[6] While recovering from chemotherapy treatment, Zahid wore a hijab for personal reasons, saying that she had grown closer to her Islamic faith while facing cancer. In May 2018, she became the first MP to wear a hijab in the House of Commons.[7] Zahid received both positive and negative reactions to the hijab, and she responded with encouragement for diversity in Canada.[7] In July 2018, after completing six rounds of chemotherapy, Zahid was cancer-free and returned to her job.[6]

Zahid was re-nominated to run in Scarborough Centre for the Liberals in the 2019 Canadian federal election.[6]

2015 Election results[edit]

2015 Canadian federal election: Scarborough Centre
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Salma Zahid 22,753 50.5 +18.61 $111,259.09
Conservative Roxanne James 14,705 32.7 -2.18 $96,481.13
New Democratic Alex Wilson 5,227 11.6 -19.06 $24,264.68
Libertarian Katerina Androutsos 1,384 3.1   $1,452.03
Green Lindsay Thompson 960 2.1 -0.47 $1,627.92
Total valid votes/Expense limit 45,029 100.00 +22.33 $203,985.80
Total rejected ballots 407 0.90 +0.33
Turnout 45,436 64.36 +10.02
Eligible voters 70,594   +0.46
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +10.39%
"Election Night Results (Validated by Returning Officer)". Elections Canada. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
"Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates".


External links[edit]