Amarjeet Sohi was born on March 8th, 1964 and is a Canadian politician serving as the 36th and current mayor of Edmonton since October 26th, 2021.
30 Facts About Amarjeet Sohi
Amarjeet Sohi returned to India in 1988, where he was detained and accused of terrorism.
Amarjeet Sohi was elected to the Edmonton City Council in the 2007 municipal election representing Ward 12, gaining his seat after finishing 4th place in the previous election.
Amarjeet Sohi was elected as Edmonton's 36th mayor on October 18,2021, becoming the first visible minority to serve as mayor.
Amarjeet Sohi was born in 1964 in the farming community of Banbhaura, Sangrur district in the Indian state of Punjab, to a Sikh family.
The theatre group Amarjeet Sohi was involved in opposed both fundamentalism and the repressive actions of the Indian government.
Amarjeet Sohi soon joined an activist group advocating land reform in Bihar, one of India's poorest states.
Amarjeet Sohi believed he was arrested due to his Sikh and Canadian background, which was linked with terrorism.
Immediately after his arrest, Amarjeet Sohi was taken to a local police station, where he was interrogated and tortured for the next week with repeated beatings, sleep deprivation and threats against his family.
State authorities falsely accused Amarjeet Sohi of being a trained Khalistan fundamentalist who had arrived in Bihar to train Naxalite insurgents, claiming that his arrest established the presence of an international terrorist network and that he had been arrested in possession of a gun and ammunition supplied by Pakistan; the state director general of police issued a statement to The Hindu to that effect.
Amarjeet Sohi was placed in a cell with a small window and no bed, and slept on a single blanket on the floor.
Amarjeet Sohi managed to maintain his reason by making friends with the prison guards, and got a message out to the local newspapers through one of them, announcing he was going on a hunger strike for better food and library privileges.
Amarjeet Sohi was allowed to use the prison library, which he credited for "[keeping him] alive" in prison.
Amarjeet Sohi believed that the Bihar Police wanted to save themselves embarrassment, and thus persisted in claiming Amarjeet Sohi to be a terrorist, charging him with links to Pakistani terrorists, Naxalite insurgents, and the Tamil Tigers.
Amarjeet Sohi became a spokesperson for the Local 569 of the Amalgamated Transit Union; in 2000 he advocated for drivers of disability buses to receive fair benefits.
Amarjeet Sohi became active in politics, campaigning for the NDP and for then Liberal MP David Kilgour.
Amarjeet Sohi carried this work forward as advisor to the REACH Edmonton Council for Safe Communities.
Amarjeet Sohi held the Council portfolio for Multiculturalism, and has championed the Racism Free Edmonton initiative.
Amarjeet Sohi has sponsored or co-sponsored Council initiatives on Seniors and on Poverty Elimination, and co-launched an initiative to end gender-based violence.
Amarjeet Sohi ultimately announced that he would not enter the race and would instead seek re-election for his Ward 12 seat.
Amarjeet Sohi has received the Edmonton Interfaith Advocate Award and the John Humphrey Centre's Human Rights Advocate Award for promoting welcoming and inclusive communities.
In January 2015, Amarjeet Sohi was approached by the federal Liberal Party to run as a Member of Parliament in the newly created riding of Edmonton Mill Woods.
Amarjeet Sohi felt the need to bring up his imprisonment before it could be used against him politically, and thus contacted the Edmonton Journal reporter Paula Simons, who agreed to help report the story.
Amarjeet Sohi was acclaimed as a candidate the next month, and officially launched his campaign in June 2015 at a large rally with Liberal leader Justin Trudeau in Mill Woods.
Amarjeet Sohi's campaign emphasized the importance of federal leadership to address big-city and infrastructure challenges.
Amarjeet Sohi was sharply critical of the Harper government's approach to citizenship, multiculturalism, and immigration policy.
On October 19,2015, after a longer than average 78-day federal election campaign, Amarjeet Sohi was declared elected as MP for Edmonton Mill Woods.
Amarjeet Sohi defended the move, saying that he did not determine the amount, which was based on his years of service with Edmonton City Council.
Amarjeet Sohi took on the Infrastructure and Communities portfolio in Justin Trudeau's first Cabinet on November 4,2015.
Amarjeet Sohi took over the Natural Resources profile from Jim Carr on July 18,2018.