OTTAWA (Web Desk) – After four years of being Canada’s third most important language, Punjabi has officially become the third language in Parliament of Canada after English and French.
The move came after the election of 20 Punjabi-speaking candidates to the House of Commons, the Fire Post reported.
The Parliamentary elections, which were conducted on 19th October led to the selection of 23 South Asian-origin members, three out of whom do not speak Punjabi.
Out of 20 Punjabi speaking members, 14 are males and six are females. Also, 18 are Liberals and two are Conservatives.
Prime Minister-designate, Justin Trudeau, is scheduled to unveil his Cabinet this week.
MP Deepak Obhrai of Conservative Party said, “The voice of the Indo-Canadian community will now be very well represented in the Parliament. In the overall aspect of it, the South Asian community won.”
Iqra Khalid, the Liberal MP who was born in Pakistan, said the diversity of the newly-elected House reflects the true make-up of Canada.
According to Statistics Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey, 430,705 Canadians identified Punjabi as their mother tongue, making it the third most common language after English and French.
The 430,705 native Punjabi speakers make up about 1.3 per cent of Canada’s population.
The 20 Punjabi-speaking MPs represent almost six per cent of the House of Commons.
It’s a big step for Canada’s Parliament. It’s finally official.