Pioneer Asian Indian Immigration to the Pacific Coast

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Mr. Gurbax Singh Malhi was first elected to the House of Commons, as the Member of Parliament for Bramalea-Gore-Malton-Springdale in 1993 and re-elected to a second term in 1997 and a third in 2000. Before 1993 no person was permitted to sit in the House of Commons with a head covering. However with the election of Mr. Malhi in 1993, he became the first Member of Parliament to sit in the House of Commons wearing a turban. Gurbax S. Malhi has served as a member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry. He has also served as Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee for the Library of Parliament, as well as a member of a number of committees: Scrutiny of Regulations Committee; Justice; Legal Affairs and Human Rights; Government Operations; Procedure and House Affairs; the Special Committee on Code of Conduct for MPs and Senators; the sub-Committee on the Business of Supply; the Pearson Airport sub-Committee and the Limousine sub-Committee. Mr. Malhi also served as Chair of the Canada-South Asia Parliamentary Friendship Group. Currently Mr. Malhi sits on the Standing Committee for Citizenship and Immigration.

He is a member of the Toronto Real Estate Board. He has been an active member of the community and has acted as a Director of Malton Neighbourhood Services (formerly the Malton Community Council). He was Founding Director of the Canadian-Sikh Cultural and Sports Centre and has been a volunteer member of the Peel Police Ethnic Race Relations Committee. He has also been a volunteer member of the Parent's Advisory Council of Marvin Heights Public School in Mississauga.

He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, English and History. He and his wife, Devinder, have two children.

For the past eight consecutive years on Parliament Hill on the occasion of Vaisakhi, Mr. Malhi has hosted and performed a yearly religious ceremony, the Akand Path, along with hosting a yearly Vaisakhi celebration, to which the Prime Minster of Canada, The Right Honourable Jean Chretien, has been the guest of honour. Members of Parliament, Ministers, Senators, High Commissioners and the public attend the Vaisakhi celebration. It is an opportunity for the Sikh-Canadian community to celebrate their culture and faith in Canada's capital city, Ottawa, with the Prime Minister.

Mr. Malhi also hosted the first ever Diwali celebration with the Prime Minster of Canada on Parliament Hill on October 1999. Hundreds of people from the South Asian-Canadian community joined the Prime Minster, MPs, Ministers and other dignitaries in this celebration of the Festival of Lights.

Mr. Malhi was also instrumental in having the Government of Canada produce a Canada Post stamp
stamp image
that featured the Sikh symbol the Khanda Sahib. The stamp was created to honour the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Khalsa (Sikh Faith) and the celebration of 100 years of the presence and contributions of Sikh-Canadians to Canada. The stamp was unveiled in an extraordinary ceremony with the Prime Minster of Canada and the President of Canada Post Corporation, Mr. Andre Ouellette, on April 19, 1999.

In January of 1997, As a result of hard work by Mr. Malhi, the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs agreed to Mr. Malhi's request to open a Canadian liaison office in Chandigarh in the State of Punjab, India. More than 70% of people of Indian descent living in Canada are from the Punjab State.

In 1995 Mr. Malhi brought to the attention of Canadians and the government, the human rights violations in Indian, when he held an exhibition on Parliament Hill where he showed video of the horrific events of the 1985 Golden Temple riots in New Delhi and other parts of the country.
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Contact T.S. Sibia, tssibia@sikhpioneers.org

Bio/Ag Reference
Shields Library
University of California
Davis, CA 95616
USA
Revised 7/12/2001
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