Indian-origin Jagmeet Singh creates political history as first non-white opposition leader in Canada's Parliament

Last Updated: Mar 20 2019 19:37
Reading time: 1 min, 9 secs

OTTAWA- Indian-origin Jagmeet Singh has created political history in Canada after making his debut in the House of Commons as the first non-white leader of a major opposition party in the country.

On Monday, the arrival of the turbaned leader into the house cheered by all members coincided with the induction of a senior woman member into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet. 

Singh, 40, the leader of the New Democratic Party, placed his hand over his heart as he walked into the House of Commons, the lower of the house of Parliament, before the daily question period.

He was elected in federal by-elections held on February 25.

Singh's first words as an elected lawmaker were about last week's terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand.

"I want to begin by expressing our solidarity with the people of New Zealand who are mourning the attack on Muslim brothers and sisters... In Christchurch," he said. 

"I met a mom in Burnaby. She bought a home, but cannot afford to live there anymore. Her daughter has a good job but only gets by because she lives in the basement. Her son does not see the future. Like too many Canadians, he has lost all hope," Singh said.

"However, the prime minister is telling families like theirs to wait for help. I believe that better is possible. Will the government commit to building half a million new affordable homes?" he said.