Wednesday, November 29, 2000,
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Five Indian Canadians retain seats
Tribune News Service

ALL five Indian Canadian sitting members of the House of Commons have retained their seats in the 37th general election of Canada, polling for which was held yesterday. The Liberals, led by Prime Minister Jean Joseph Chretien, won a resounding third straight majority government, winning 100 of the 103 seats in Ontario province alone, besides gaining ground in Quebec and Atlantic Canada to finish with a tally of 173 seats in a House of 301.

According to the Elections Canada website, the successful Indian Canadian candidates, include the Federal Minister, Mr Herb Dhaliwal; Mr Gurbax Singh Malhi (both Liberals), Mr Gurmant Grewal, Mr Rahim Jaffer and Mr Deepak Ubhrai (all from the Canadian Reform Alliance).

Both Mr Dhaliwal and Mr Malhi have been elected for the third consecutive term.

The biggest win among these candidates was recorded by Mr Malhi from Bramlea-Gore-Malton-Springdale Riding who defeated his nearest rival, Mr Gurdish Mangat, also an Indian Canadian representing the Canadian Reform Alliance (CRA), by a margin of more than 14,000 votes. Mr Malhi polled 57 per cent of the votes . After winning the first election in 1993 by a margin of 7,000 votes, Mr Malhi increased the margin of victory to 8,000 votes in 1997 and this time took it further to 14,000 votes.

Mr Malhi is the only Indian Canadian to win from Ontario province while Mr Dhaliwal and Mr Grewal were elected from British Columbia while the remaining two Mr Ubhrai and Mr Jaffer have been elected from Alberta province.

Of the seven contestants in this Riding, five were Indian Canadians, who took the first five positions. Besides, Mr Mangat, Mr Danny Varaich of the Progressive Conservative was third with 6,018 votes while Mr Vishnu Roche of the New Democratic Party was fourth with 1,863 votes. Ms Gurinder Malhi, an Independent, was fifth with 783 votes.

Mr Dhaliwal, however, had a tough fight this time. He defeated his nearest rival, Mr Ron Jack of the Canadian Alliance, by a margin of 2400 votes. Another Indian Canadian in fray, Mr Imtiaz Popat, polled just 616 votes. Last time, Mr Dhaliwal had defeated his rival from the Reform Party by a margin of more than 5,000 votes.

Mr Grewal, who was the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, retained his Surrey Central seat as the CRA candidate defeating Mr Peter Warkentin of Liberals by a margin of more than 9,000 votes. In the 1997 elections, he had defeated Ms Palbinder Shegill of the Liberals, and also an Indian Canadian, by less than 3,000 votes in a tough contest. Mr Harjit Daudharia, also an Indian Canadian, who contested this time as the Communist Party of Canada candidate, polled only 109 votes. Mr Grewal polled 51 per cent votes.

The third Indian Canadian in fray from British Columbia province, which boasts of Mr Ujjal Dosanjh, an Indian Canadian as its Premier, was Mr Shinder Purewal, whose attempt to get into the House of Commons as a Liberal candidate was unsuccessful. He was defeated by Mr Chuck Cadman, a sitting MP of the CRA, by a margin of nearly 10,000 votes.

In Alberta province, both Mr Rahim Jaffer and Mr Deepak Ubhrai won comfortably with the latter recording a resounding win by a margin of over 11,000 votes against his Liberal Party rival, Mr Doug Perras. Mr Ubhrai polled 18,141 votes (54.3 pe cent) to retain his Calgary East seat. Mr Neeraj Varma, also an Indian Canadian, representing the Canadian Law Party, finished last with 122 votes. Last time Mr Ubhrai had won by a margin of nearly 6,000 votes.

From Edmonton Strathcona, Mr Jaffer polled 42 per cent votes (23,409) to defeat his Liberal rival, Mr Jonathan Dai, by a margin of more than 5,000 votes. In 1997, Mr Jaffer had won by a margin of 3,000 votes.

Mr Sam Keshavjee, a South African of Indian origin, was defeated in Calgary Northeast by Mr Art Hanger of the CRA. He was defeated by a margin of more than 18,000 votes. Mr Sam Keshavjee was a candidate of the Liberal Party.

In Edmonton Southeast, two Indian Canadians in fray Mr Tim Uppal of the CRA and Mr Joginder Kandola of the New Democratic Party were defeated by M David Kilgour. While Mr Tim Uppal polled 16,391 votes against 21,109 by his conqueror, Mr Joginder Kandola polled just 1,285 votes. Mr David Kilgour is a sitting MP.

In Quebec province, the only Indian Canadian in fray was Mr Deepak Massandh of the Progressive Conservative, who fought against the Canadian Finance Minister, Mr Pal Martin, and was trounced. Mr Massandh polled 1,111 votes against 32,068 polled by Mr Martin, who at one stage was tipped as a possible replacement for Mr Jean Chretien.

In Ontario, though there were a record number of Indian Canadians in the fray, Mr Malhi wa the only success. Mr Munish Chandra of the Canadian Alliance was defeated by Mr Judy Sagro of the Liberals from York West by a margin of 17,000 votes. Mr Amarjit Dhillon of the Marxist-Leninist Party, polled only 175 votes here. This seat has been a traditional Liberal stronghold.

In Brampton West-Mississauga, Ms Colleen Beaumier of Liberals was successful. Her nearest rival, Mr Hardial Sangha of the CRA, was a poor second with 7,657 votes against 31,031 polled by Ms Beamier. The same was the fate of Mr Harjit Dhaliwal of the CRA candidate from Mississauga Centre where he was defeated by Ms Carolyn Parrish by a margin of more than 15,000 votes. Ms Nina Tangri, who contested as the Progressive Conservative candidate from the same Riding, was a poor third with 5,066 votes against 24,238 polled by Ms Parrish. Ms Carolyn Parrish is a sitting MP.

Mr Prabhat Kapur of the CRA finished third in Brampton Centre against Mr Sarkis Assadourian (Liberal) and Mr Beryl Ford of the Progressive Conservative by polling 6,247 votes. Mr Assadourian retained the seat he last won in 1997 by polling 18,365 votes.Back

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