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Canada’s new defence minister is Harjit Sajjan, a decorated Lt.-Colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces and the newly-elected MP for Vancouver South. Harjit Sajjan has served Canada and his community as both a soldier and a police officer. reported CBC news Canada.

Harjit Sajjan walked the South Vancouver streets as a detective with the Vancouver Police Department’s Gang Crime Unit.

Harjit is a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces and a combat veteran. He has deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina and served three separate deployments to Kandahar, Afghanistan. Harjit has received numerous recognition for his service, including the Meritorious Service Medal for reducing the Taliban’s influence in Kandahar Province. He is also a recipient of the Order of Military Merit – one of the military’s highest recognitions. Harjit also served as an Aide-de-Camp to the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.

Harjit was a police officer with the Vancouver Police Department for 11 years. He completed his last assignment as a Detective-Constable with the Gang Crime Unit specializing in organized crime. He proudly tackled gang violence and drug crimes in Vancouver. Harjit is also a Human Security specialist, lecturing to a wide audience in both Canada and the US.

“His approach, based on his knowledge of local culture and tribal dynamics, helped senior management to engage with influential Afghan tribal leaders, and led to the identification of insurgent command and control connection points,” according to the citation on the Governor General’s website.

Harjit Sajjan was born in India and moved to Canada with his family when he was five years old.

 

Harjit Sajjan will oversee an anticipated change in Canada’s military involvement in the battle against militants in Syria and Iraq. Newly sworn-in Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has already said he wants to end Canada’s air strikes in the region in favor of providing humanitarian help.

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Harjit Sajjan, seen here in a picture with his wife Dr. Kuljit Kaur Sajjan and two children, will be Canada’s new defence minister. (Liberal Party of Canada)

Outgoing Conservative defense minister Jason Kenney had taken a hardline stance on security, saying Canada needed to be fighting against Islamic State militants to prevent them from becoming a threat to Canada.

The issue has been at the forefront in the last year since a gunman killed a soldier and stormed Canada’s Parliament last October.

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