Sikhs face off in upcoming Canada polls

MsingNRINTERCanada may just elect its first white Sikh MP in the forthcoming parliamentary elections, in the shape of Martin Singh ‘Paaji’, 42, who turned Sikh in 1991 and was baptised in 1993. He is in the fray from Toronto’s neighouring city of Brampton that has the second largest concentration of Indians – mostly Punjabis – in Canada.

Martin Singh who is a candidate for the leading opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), is married to a Sikh girl from Amritsar. He says he was attracted to Sikhism because Guru Nanak emphasised meditation and earning an honest living by hard work and sharing.

He is pitted against two Sikhs – sitting MP Parm Gill of the Conservative Party and Ruby Sahota of the Liberal Party.

Martin who runs a pharmacy business that employs some 500 people says they want to fix the broken Canadian immigration and visa system and create jobs that have vanished.

Martin has been to India of course, but does not speak much Punjabi. He has however acquired enough knowledge to read the Gurmukhi script.