Elections in the state of Ontario / Canada

It’s a proud moment for Indians in Canada when the above three won the seats in the provincial (state) elections held in Canada recently. Mr.Harinder Thakar is in fact holds the position of a minister for small business and enterprise in the liberal government of Mr. Dalton Mcguinty.

Other Indians who contested were Bala Thavarajasoorier,Sanjeev goel, Gurdial singh, Mani singh,Anita aggarwal, Satish balasunderam, Karen pander,Shaila kibria, Jai aggarwal, Samy appadurai, Jay sarkar, Neethan shan, Rini ghosh, & Anita payne.

The assembly had 107 seats and the main contestant parties were the liberal party, conservative party, ndp, green party and independents. The average number of candidates for any seat was 5. So voters had to choose from amongst the five which is refreshingly different from Indian elections when the ballot papers have 15 -20 candidates. Elections started at 8.00 am and ended at 9.00 pm. Results were announced at 10.00 pm that the liberal party of Mr Dalton Mcguinty has secured 71 seats and won a majority.

The main issue was “public funding for religious schools” This basically meant that if that was allowed then the government had to fund religious schools. So there would be Muslim schools, Jewish schools, and Hindu schools. At present the government funds only catholic schools. The conservative leader Mr. John Tory announced that if elected his government would fund religious schools. This triggered off fear from catholic schools that their funding would be cut. Mr John Tory was actively supported by Jewish groups. Hindu and muslim groups which owned or had plans for schools were looking at it as a window of oppurtunity.

His opponent and incumbent leader Mr Dalton Mcguinty stoutly refused to fund religious schools. Opinion polls indicated that the trend was in favour. At the last minute Mr John Tory flipped and said that he would ask for a vote on religious funding. This flip flop was a contrast to the steady conviction which Mr Dalton Mcguinty showed. Mr Dalton also offered a lollipop to voters, he announced a new holiday each year named as,”the family day”. This would be celebrated each february.

Funding of religious schools was a prominent factor in this election. But amongst other factors Mr Dalton Mcguinty had provided a reasonable government, was clear on his focus, and spoke about healthcare, jobs & public welfare. The voters rewarded him.

These indian leaders are a sample representation of the vast number of Indian immigrants who toil against various forces and emerge victorious in a distant land. The former chief minister of A.P Mr Chandrababu naidu while on a recent visit to toronto said that Indians have succeded in politics by being both in the ruling party and opposition party. Please join us in congragulating them and the government of Mr Dalton Mcguinty.