Hon. Harjit Sajjan has been named Canada’s new Minister of National Defence by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The more I watch and read about Minister Sajjan, I more I admire him. Here are some items and videos that I found to help me understand Minister Sajjan a little. For the record.
November 4th, 2015, National Observer, “You have no idea how badass Trudeau’s Defence Minister really is”
Nov 4th, 2015, Vancouver Sun, “Five things about Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s new minister of defence”
HIGH SCHOOL: In a 2012 profile by Vancouver Sun columnist Daphne Bramham, Sajjan said when he was a 16-year-old student at Charles Tupper Secondary, he started travelling in the wrong circles. His classmates included future gangster Bindi Johal, who was murdered in 1998, and others who Sajjan later helped arrest as a member of the VPD. It was during this period that Sajjan chose a different path and become a baptized Sikh. “It wasn’t really a religious thing. It was an identity thing. I needed the commitment because I knew it would keep me on the right path. I found the true meaning of Sikhism and I loved the warrior aspect of it … When I was fighting to understand who I am, that (warrior) aspect was something that I really identified with.”
April 6, 2015, The Province op-ed “Harjit Sajjan: Fear-based politics threatens our security” (highly recommended as it is authored by the Minister himself)
“Based on the insight I gained in the military and in law enforcement, I truly believe that the unique, open and diverse society we have built in Canada is a strength we have in dealing with future threats. By focusing our government’s efforts on fear, suspicion and finger pointing, as has been the case recently, we risk wasting Canada’s greatest strength — its people, and in the process we put our nation’s security at further risk.
During the past 25 years, I have had the unique opportunity of transitioning between my military and law-enforcement careers. Regrettably, I have faced the worst of our society, not only at home, but also abroad in locations such as Bosnia and Afghanistan. While it may come as a surprise to some, the policing experience I gained as a detective in the Gang Crime Unit in Vancouver provided me with valuable insight that I employed in my military duties as part of a multinational force in the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
While in Afghanistan, I learned that although combat was necessary to fight terrorism, combat alone could not help us achieve our goals against the Taliban. I discovered that a great deal of the Taliban’s power came from the recruitment of young Afghan males, and we came to understand that we needed to take steps to impede the Taliban’s recruitment efforts.“
The Province, Oct 19, 2015: “Liberal Harjit Sajjan explains value of youth vote”
Published July 2nd, 2015: Conversations That Matter – Episode 40 – Lt Col Harjitt Sajjan (the awesome motorcycle story at 16:30)
uploaded Jun 18, 2010: “Major Harjit Sajjan speaks at Sam Sullivan’s Public Salon” (must watch 3:30)
(Adding this to a new quote I LOVE. “By building solid relationship, this would just automatically happen. Another example was we used to have ambushes occurred on certain places. I once did something and went up to General [David] Fraser and said your ambushes are no longer. And this was without firing a shot. I said, “Don’t worry, I know a guy.” And it was simply just as that. And the ambush disappeared.” – Harjit Sajjan at Sam Sullivan’s Public Salon in 2010)
CBC’s Duncan McCue profiles Canada’s first Sikh commanding officer: Officer or Distinction – Harjit Singh Sajjan
Nov 20, 2015 update: CBC News, (with video) “ISIS response addressed by Harjit Sajjan, appearing at Halifax International Security Forum – Nearly 300 delegates from about 60 countries meeting to discuss global security issues”
CTV News, (with video) “Battle tested: Canada’s new defence minister is a street-smart, combat-hardened soldier”
April 28, 2017 update: (Disappointing) Calgary Herald, “Sajjan retracts claim he was ‘architect’ of Canada’s biggest combat operation in Afghanistan”
The offending speech delivered on April 18, 2017 in New Delhi, India , “Minister Sajjan Keynote Address to Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, India“