Jagmeet Singh Dhaliwal, better known to his political constituents as Jagmeet Singh, is a Canadian politician, lawyer, and activist. He is the leader of the national New Democratic Party (NDP) and also a Member of Parliament (MP) representing the area of Burnaby South in British Columbia. He is the first Sikh to lead a federal political party in Canada.
Jagmeet was born on January 2, 1979 in Scarborough, Ontario. Between the ages of 7 and 23, Jagmeet grew up in South Windsor where he recalls fond memories of attending Oakwood Elementary School and visiting the Nikolai Budimir branch of Windsor Public Library. However, Jagmeet also remembers many unpleasant encounters with racist bullies, an experience that would inspire him to fight injustice and pursue a career in law as an adult. To help shield Jagmeet from this racism, his parents enrolled him in the Detroit County Day School, a private college preparatory school in Michigan. He attended this school from grades 6 to 12, after which he began post-secondary school at the University of Western Ontario (now Western University) in London, Ontario.
Jagmeet graduated from Western University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He then pursued his law degree at York University in Toronto at the Osgoode School of Law, graduating in 2005. He was called to the bar in 2006 and began his career as a criminal lawyer in Toronto, and later Peel Region. It was while working in Peel Region that Jagmeet entered politics. In 2011, he was elected Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Peel Region.
Wishing to take his progressive politics to the national level, Jagmeet launched his federal campaign on May 15, 2017 on a platform based on social and economic inequality, climate change, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and electoral reform. Jagmeet was chosen leader of the NDP on October 1, 2017, with the hope becoming Prime Minister in the next federal election. During the 2019 federal election campaign, he made a visit to Windsor to drum up support and speak with residents about issues like healthcare and the auto industry. Despite his efforts on the campaign trail, the election results on October 21, 2019 were not as he had hoped. Although Jagmeet won his seat in the riding of Burnaby South, the NDP were unsuccessful in securing the majority of seats in the House of Commons.
In his personal life, Jagmeet married clothing designer and humanitarian, Gurkiran Kaur Sidhu, in February of 2018. The couple held two ceremonies: the first was a traditional Sikh ceremony in Brampton, and the second was a destination wedding in Mexico.
Singh, Jagmeet. Love & Courage: My Story of Family, Resilience, and Overcoming the Unexpected. Toronto: Simon & Schuster, 2019.
Photograph: from https://www.ndp.ca/jagmeet