Salma Zahid

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Salma Zahid
Zahid headshot.jpg
Image of Salma Zahid delivering victory speech on election night October 19, 2015
Member of Parliament
for Scarborough Centre
Assumed office
October 19, 2015
Preceded byRoxanne James
Personal details
BornCoventry, England, UK
  • Canada
  • Pakistan
  • United Kingdom
Political partyLiberal
Residence(s)South Cedarbrae,[1] Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario
Alma materUniversity of London
Quaid-i-Azam University
AwardsQueen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

Salma Zahid MP is a 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.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Zahid was born in Coventry. 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.[3] She is Pakistani Canadian, mother of 2 and has resided in Scarborough since 2000.[4] She is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.[5] Zahid was a community organizer and worked for the Government of Ontario in multiple positions before running in the election.[6]


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.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5] Zahid received some negative reactions to the hijab, to which she responded by highlighting the personal nature of her decision.[5] In July 2018, after completing six rounds of chemotherapy, Zahid was cancer-free and returned to her job.[4]

Zahid was re-nominated to run in Scarborough Centre for the Liberals in the 2019 Canadian federal election.[4]

Past election results[edit]

2019 Canadian federal election: Scarborough Centre
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Salma Zahid 25,695 55.3 +4.80 $100,475.79
Conservative Irshad Chaudhry 10,387 22.3 -10.40 $88,298.94
New Democratic Faiz Kamal 5,452 11.7 +0.10 $11,622.00
Independent John Cannis 2,524 5.4 $49,981.60
Green Dordana Hakimzadah 1,336 2.9 +0.80 none listed
People's Jeremiah Vijeyaratnam 1,162 2.5 none listed
Total valid votes/expense limit 46,556 100.0  
Total rejected ballots 638
Turnout 47,194 62.4
Eligible voters 75,662
Liberal hold Swing +7.60
Source: Elections Canada[6][7]
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".


  1. ^ "Search For Contributions". Elections Canada. Retrieved 2021-06-23.
  2. ^ "Liberal candidate Salma Zahid wins Scarborough Centre". Toronto Star. October 19, 2015.
  3. ^ "Biography | Salma Zahid | Your member of parliament for Scarborough Centre". Retrieved 2019-09-27.
  4. ^ a b c Aiello, Rachel (August 22, 2018). "'A new low': Conservative robocall tries to exploit Liberal MP's cancer diagnosis". CTV News. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Massa, Ginella (August 21, 2018). "Scarborough MP responds to criticism over wearing hijab, says she's recovering from cancer". CityNews Toronto. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  6. ^ "List of confirmed candidates". Elections Canada. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  7. ^ "Election Night Results". Elections Canada. Retrieved November 4, 2019.

External links[edit]