Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau clung on to office even though his Liberal party did not get a clear majority, paving the way for a minority government that would need outside support, likely from fourth-placed left-leaning New Democratic Party led by 40-year-old human rights lawyer Jagmeet Singh.The Indian-origin politician was quick to make his stance clear on his role as “kingmaker” on Tuesday, saying: “I’m hoping that Mr Trudeau respects the fact that there’s a minority government now, which means we’ve got to work together.” Trudeau’s Liberals fell short of the 170 seats needed for a majority in the 338-seat House of Commons in Canada, down 20 seats to 157 this time. However, they would be able to plug the gap with NDP support as the two parties have had alliances earlier too.
Singh’s NDP, too, lost ground, winning 24 this election; it had 44 seats in the outgoing Parliament.Jagmeet: Will make sure wealthy pay their fair shareSingh said his party’s elected officials will now head to Ottawa to tackle a number of issues, including taking “real and urgent action” on climate change, making life more affordable for Canadians and making sure the “super wealthy pay their fair share”. “Canadians want a government that works for them. Not the rich and the powerful,” Singh tweeted.The results of the Canadian election reverberated across Punjab as Trudeau is very popular among the people, more so because he had four Sikh ministers in his outgoing cabinet. Of his four ministers, three — Harjit Singh Sajjan, Navdeep Bains and Jagdish Chaggar — retained their seats. Amarjit Singh Sohi, also a minister, lost the election but made way for another prominent Sikh politician, Tim Uppal of the Conservative party.The left-leaning NDP’s lone Sikh MP is its leader, Jagmeet Singh. The residents of Thikriwal village in Barnala district, who were hoping to see Jagmeet as prime minister, have mixed feelings.They were happy that Jagmeet won his election but were disappointed that his party lost considerable ground in the polls. Punjabi candidates of ruling the Liberal party won all the five seats in Brampton, which has a sizeable Punjabi population. It is the first stop for a large number of Punjabi students who immigrate to Canada for studies.