Harjit Singh Sajjan
Harjit Singh Sajjan PC OMM MSM CD MP (born September 6, 1970) is a Canadian Liberal politician, the current Minister of National Defence and a Member of Parliament representing the riding of Vancouver South. He is the first Sikh to become Minister of Defence. Sajjan was first elected during the 2015 federal election, defeating Conservative incumbent MP Wai Young, and was sworn as defence minister into the Cabinet, headed by Justin Trudeau, on November 4, 2015. Before politics, Sajjan was a detective investigating gangs for the Vancouver Police Department and a regimental commander in the Canadian Armed Forces decorated for his service in Afghanistan. Sajjan was also the first Sikh-Canadian to command a Canadian Army reserve regiment.
Harjit Singh Sajjan's Life Bio
Harjit Singh Sajjan was born on September 6, 1970 in Bombeli, a village in the Hoshiarpur district of Punjab, India. Sajjan's father, Kundan Sajjan, was a Head constable with the Punjab Police in India, and is currently a member of the World Sikh Organization (WSO), a Sikh advocacy group. Harjit Singh, along with his mother and older sister, emigrated to Canada in 1976, when he was five years old, to join their father who had left for British Columbia two years earlier to work at a sawmill. While the family was getting established in their new life in Canada, his mother worked on berry farms in BC Lower Mainland during the summer where Harjit Singh and his sister would frequently join her. Harjit Singh grew up in a neighbourhood in South Vancouver. Harjit Singh married Kuljit Kaur, a family physician, in 1996, and they have a son and a daughter. Sajjan was baptized as a Sikh when he was a teenager, seeing it as a way to get away from a bad crowd, such as his classmate Bindy Johal.
Sajjan was elected for the riding of Vancouver South during the 2015 federal election, defeating Conservative incumbent MP Wai Young. Sajjan was appointed Minister of National Defence in the federal Cabinet, headed by Justin Trudeau, on November 4, 2015. His alleged links with the Khalistan movement have caused diplomatic friction with Punjab's chief minister, Amarinder Singh. Harjit Sajjan also has faced allegations from the New Democrats that he is "playing down his connections to the detainee controversy during the [Afghanistan] combat mission [Medusa], where Canadians handed over prisoners to torture by Afghan authorities."