Ruby, Parm or Manjit? — updated

Dhalla Gill Grewal.jpgCanadians vote in a federal election on May 2 and one of the most interesting races is in Brampton-Springdale, just outside Toronto. One out of three people in Brampton is South Asian, the highest proportion among all municipalities in Canada, and residents are not asking whether a South Asian will represent them in Parliament — they are asking which South Asian will represent them in Parliament. Will it be Ruby, Parm or Manjit?

All three of the major party candidates are Punjabi (just as in the neighboring riding of Bramalea-Gore-Malton). Ruby Dhalla, the Liberal incumbent, a former actress and chiropractor, has held the seat since 2004. She and Nina Grewal, a Conservative from British Columbia, were the first Sikh women to serve in the Canadian House of Commons and have twice defended their seats.

Dhalla’s chief rival is Parm Gill, the Conservative candidate, whom she defeated by less than 800 votes in 2008, and whom she accuses of inappropriate access to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

The third major candidate is Manjit Grewal, nominee of the New Democratic Party (NDP). He doesn’t appear to have much of a chance, aside from the fact that he co-owns a taxi company and will have no trouble giving voters free rides to the polls.

The remaining candidates are Mark Hoffberg, representing the Green Party, and Elizabeth Rowley, representing the Communist Party. They have no shot whatsoever, but at least with their names out there in the community, they might have a chance in the next election, especially if they brush up on their Punjabi.

UPDATE (May 3, 2011): Gill easily won the seat, with 23,554 votes, or 48.4 per cent, beating Dhalla (13,635 votes) and Grewal (9,439).

11 thoughts on “Ruby, Parm or Manjit? — updated

  1. This happens in part of the Vancouver area like Surrey. I think in the last provincial election, I can recall one riding have all 3 people running being of punjabi background. If you look at most of the south asians MP’s in Ottawa, they all run in areas with high south asian population. But after they get elected most of them don’t really do anything.

  2. Hey, I commented about this earlier in a Sepia Mutiny post about targeting ethnic voters! Living in Brampton, we have many South Asian politicians. I am not a Ruby fan, she is always like: “Mr Ignatieff this, Liberal party that…”, it seems as if she does not have her own opinion or identity. I am still miffed with the Conservative party using Akshay Kumar, when he premiered his Bollywood movie here in Brampton (yes, Bollywood movies have premieres in this suburb of Toronto!). I guess that leaves Manjit Grewal, whose party I support, but he has hardly canvassed!

    The major politicians have come to Brampton many times during the election, and I find their pandering to the South Asian community funny.

    I guess all this seems odd to you Americans peeps, I can understand. But there are many South Asian politicians (and other ethnicities) in the various levels of Canadian government. I just wish they would win us over with the speeches, views and class, rather than their associations with Bollywood stars!

    PS: Ruby was involved in a nanny immigration issue!

  3. I live in Brampton-Springdale. I like this area. Ruby is really good for this area. Parm is sketch, engages in dirty politics and is not a promising candidate for a better Springdale. And Manjit doesn’t have enough experience – nice guy though. Ruby is unfortunately the best!

  4. Ruby sounds like a stripper, Parm sounds like food, Manjit sounds like a cuss word.

    Hmmm, tough choices. Stripper, food or cussing.

  5. I am not voting for Ruby Dhalla because she has proven to be an incompetent MP. I think it is time for a change and I am voting for Manjit Grewal and the NDP party. I am wondering if Sepia Mutiny readers know about Ruby’s recent scandal with her domestic workers? The Toronto Star exposed Ruby for the poor treatment of the domestics that worked for her family.

  6. This is not surprising considering South Asians, grouped together, are the largest minority group in Canada.

  7. Yeah, we know. But voting for NDP is kinda like being pro-third-world. let’s get with it and vote for Parm. If you like the NDP go back to your third world sh!t-hole.

  8. Congrat’s to Gill — at least some desis are joining in the conservative landslide. Prosperity FTW!