Two Pakistani women elected in Canadian elections

OTTAWA: Two Pakistani women Salma Zahid and Iqra Khalid, representing the Liberal party, won seats in the Canadian elections 2015 held on Monday.


“Scarborough families tonight voted for real change,” Salma Zahid said as dozens gathered to celebrate her victory. “I will work hard to deliver the results they deserve.”

Zahid has reclaimed Scarborough Centre for the Liberals by beating the Conservative incumbent Roxanne James who was elected in 2011. Her campaign had focused largely on transit infrastructure, youth employment and moving to repeal the Conservatives’ Bill C-24.

A mother of two, Zahid moved to Scarborough with her family 15 years ago and has since worked as a senior adviser to the Ontario government on health care, infrastructure, citizenship and tourism.

Another Pakistani-Canadian Iqra Khalid also won the election and succeeded in unseating Conservative incumbent Bob Dechert in Mississauga-Erin-Mills. The election was a close one but the Conservative candidate likely lost it due to the party’s anti-Muslim agenda.

The Liberal leader, Justin Trudeau, son of former Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau, led his party to victory in a federal election on Monday, defeating Stephen Harper’s Conservatives by a wide margin.

Trudeau, who took over a party in shambles in 2013, trailed early in the campaign, brushed off by his opponents as being more style than substance and an intellectual lightweight who was not ready for the job.

But a bold pledge to run a budget deficit and boost spending to spur the economy, as well as a positive message and his gregarious nature, helped the Liberals engineer a turnaround.

The telegenic Trudeau has often drawn large crowds and elicited comparisons to the Kennedy dynasty and the Obama campaigns.