Alberta elects two Mayors of Indian Origin: Jyoti Gondek wins in Calgary, Amarjeet Sohi wins in Edmonton

Alberta’s two major cities have made history by electing two Mayor of Indian.  Jyoti Gondek became Calgary’s first female mayor and Edmonton have elected the city’s first person of colour as mayor. Gondek will replace Naheed Nenshi, who held the city’s top job for more than a decade.

“Thank you, Calgary, with all of my heart,” Gondek said during her victory speech. “Thank you for engaging in democracy and sending a clear signal about what our future looks like.

“Thank you for embracing a vision of promise and opportunity.” Nenshi responded on social media. “History. Made,” he wrote as he congratulated Gondek on her win. He, too, made history as the first Muslim mayor of a large North American city. Earlier Monday, he thanked Calgarians for giving him the “honour of his life.”

Gondek served as a city councillor in Calgary for four years, where she championed public transit, police reform and city growth.

In Edmonton, former federal cabinet minister Amarjeet Sohi, a Sikh immigrant from India has become the first mayor of colour in the provincial capital.

“As an 18-year-old immigrant without much to my name, I had ambitions and dreams to build a better life in a new home — dreams that sometimes seemed impossible,” Sohi said during his victory speech. “Today, because of you, because of everyone in this room, we have made the impossible possible.”

He was a city bus driver and an Edmonton city councillor before entering federal politics and serving as Minister of Natural Resources and Minister of Infrastructure and Communities under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Sohi will take over from Don Iveson, who announced he wouldn’t run for re-election after serving two terms as mayor. In a statement, Iveson said Edmonton will thrive under Sohi’s leadership.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mayor-elect Sohi during his time as (a) city councillor and have always appreciated and been inspired by how hard he has worked for our community,” said Iveson.