Ontario Liberal leadership candidate profile: Harinder Takhar
Compiled by Sara Miller
Harinder Takhar is one of six candidates running for the Ontario Liberal leadership, which if won, would make him the next premier of Ontario.
Born in Punjab, India, Takhar moved to Canada in 1974. A 30-year resident of Mississauga, Takhar is married to his wife Balwinder and has two daughters, Sharandeep and Kulroop.
On his campaign website, Takhar’s educational credentials include a Master’s degree in Economics and Political Science and a B.A. in English, Political Science and Economics from the University of India. He has also taught Accredited Business Courses at Sheridan College for 13 years.
Before entering the political realm, Takhar was a businessman, serving as the President and CEO of Chalmers Group of Companies, a private manufacturing company. He also held executive positions at Timex Canada Inc, a Canadian watch maker and Linear Technology Inc, a developer of high performance integrated circuits.
He has also served as the Associate Director and Chief Financial Officer for the Peel District School Board.
Takhar was first elected into Ontario legislature in 2003 as MPP for Mississauga-Centre ward. In 2007, he was re-elected for the Mississauga-Erindale ward. Over the years he has covered several different cabinet positions including Minster of Transportation, Minster of Small Business and Entrepreneurship and Minister of Government Services.
Takhar is the first person of South Asian heritage to be appointed a member of cabinet for Ontario.
He was under fire for waiting till the last minute of the nomination period before resigning from his cabinet position to declare his candidacy for premier.
CBC reports that going into the convention, Takhar is currently in fourth place with 13 per cent of the delegate count. Candidate Gerald Kennedy places third with 14 per cent and in fifth and sixth place are Charles Sousa with 11 per cent and Eric Hoskins with six per cent. Kathleen Wynne is in second place at 25 per cent and Sandra Pupatello leads with 27 per cent of the delegate counts.