Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Harinder Jeet Singh Takhar is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He is currently a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and is a cabinet minister in the government of Premier Dalton McGuinty. Takhar is the first Indo-Canadian to hold a cabinet position in Ontario.
Takhar was born to a Sikh family in the Indian state of Punjab, with a background in farming and civil service work. He moved to Canada in 1974, and arrived in Mississauga, Ontario in 1977. He an undergraduate degree in English, Economics and Political Science, and has two Master's Degrees, one in Economics and the other in Political Science. Takhar has been designated a Certified Management Accountant and professional administrator. He has also taken a number of leadership courses at the University of Toronto and York University, and taught CMA and CGA accredited coursed at Sheridan College for thirteen years. Shortly before entering public life, he was appointed a fellow of the Management Accountants of Canada. He also served as president and CEO of the Chalmers Group of Companies, and has held leadership positions in several other private ventures.
Takhar has served as chairman of the Board of Governors of the Credit Valley Hospital, was chair of the board of directors of the Peel Region United Way, eliminating the organization's debt, and is a founding member and president of the International Punjabi Chamber of Commerce . He served on the board of the Education Safety Association of Ontario from 1997 to 2001, and joined the Peel District School Board in September 1994, serving as its associate director and chief financial officer until his move into provincial politics.
Takhar was elected to the Ontario legislature in the provincial election of 2003, defeating incumbent Progressive Conservative cabinet minister Rob Sampson by 2621 votes in the riding of Mississauga Centre . He was appointed Ontario Minister of Transportation on October 23, 2003.
Takhar has not yet won toll reductions on the privately-owned Highway 407, despite some efforts. He has won some funding for public transit, and he has identified transit in the Greater Toronto Area as his ministry's key priority.
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