By Amit Gossai
Liberal Opposition Leader Michael Ignatieff announced a new shadow cabinet this week.
Unfortunately, two South Asian MP?s, who were Liberal Critics under Stephane Dion, didn?t make the cut this time around.
Brampton-Springdale MP Ruby Dhalla has been appointed the Liberal Party's government critic on youth and multicultural affairs.
Dhalla said that immigrant contributions are the cornerstone of Canada?s success.
"Canada is a symbol of hope for nations throughout the world. As the daughter of immigrant parents, I have a seen first hand the sacrifices and courage of new Canadians in their effort to have their voices heard,? she said. ?I look forward to ensuring issues such as foreign credential recognition, and improved efficiency in our immigration system are brought to the forefront.?
Under Dion, she was named Labour Critic.
This is a good move however, as Dhalla?s connection with youth and the immigrant population are expected to be of great benefit as a watchdog on government affairs in these areas.
Rumours are spreading that with Dhalla?s appointment with the scaled down Opposition party critics, the Brampton MP could be in line for a cabinet post should the Liberals and their coalition with the New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois seize power from the Conservatives.
"I am honoured Mr. Ignatieff has shown such faith in me. In my new post I look forward to reaching out to Canadians of all background and communities, especially our young people,? Dhalla said. ?I firmly believe hopes, dreams, beliefs, ideas and vision of youth are the future of our community, our country and our world. I look forward to ensuring the government provides the resources and tools they need to succeed"
Along with Dhalla, Newton-North Delta MP Sukh Dhaliwal became the Critic for Western Economic Development as well as the Asia-Pacific Gateway.
?Western Economic Diversification and the Asia Pacific Gateway strategy are the lifeblood of the government?s economic involvement in British Columbia and Western Canada,? said Dhaliwal. ?As Chair of the North and Western Liberal Caucus these roles only add to my ability to serve as the leading voice in representing the interests of Western Canada in Ottawa.?
Under Dion, Dhaliwal was the Sport and Asia-Pacific Gateway Critic.
Losing their titles however, were Mississauga-Brampton South MP Navdeep Bains and Vancouver South MP Ujjal Dosanjh.
Bains was previously the Natural Resources Critic while Dosanjh was the party?s critic on National Defence.
Under the new cabinet, Denis Coderre replaces Dosanjh while Geoff Regan replaces Bains.
The party's critic lineup has been reduced to reflect the opposition's focus on the economy, according to Ignatieff.
"This is a lean and focused line-up with fewer critic roles and no associate roles," he said. "We will be a focused and disciplined Opposition with a single purpose: holding the Conservatives accountable.?
Bramalea-Gore-Malton MP Gurbax Malhi was also left off the cabinet?s roster.
?This is an experienced and capable team,? said Ignatieff. ?There is much work to be done both inside and outside of Parliament and every member of caucus will have a role to play in the outreach we need to do.?