Few Sask. immigrants seeking office despite growing population

September 19, 2019

By Globe News |

Despite immigration being the biggest contributor to Saskatchewan’s population growth, proportionally fewer people from the immigrant community are seeking public office.

Immigration is among the biggest reason Saskatchewan’s population is growing, but only a handful of federal candidates in the province are immigrants.

Among them are Liberal for Moose Jaw-Lake Centre-Lannigan Cecilia Melanson from Ecuador and Regina-Lewvan NDP nominee Jigar Patel from India.

Several other candidates from all parties boast volunteer work for immigrant and refugee organizations on their resumes.

Still, immigrants make a much smaller proportion of federal candidates than they do the province’s population. As of the 2016 census, Saskatchewan’s immigrant population makes up 10.5 per cent of the provincial population.

In Patel’s view, everyone has the right to serve their community. They just have to pursue the opportunity.

“They have to come out and work for the people that is the thing that I’m expecting from any community, and I’ve liked to work for the people since my childhood so that’s why I’m into politics now,” he said.

Earlier waves of immigration into the province were characterized by Europeans. In recent history, immigration trends have shifted to the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

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