|Harjit Sajjan Quick Info
|Date of Birth
|September 6, 1970
Harjit Sajjan is a Canadian politician and police officer who served as the minister of national defence from 2015 to 2021 and the minister of international development from 2021 to 2023. Also, he has served as the minister of emergency preparedness and the president of the Privy Council. He also served as a lieutenant colonel in the Canadian Army.
Harjit Singh Sajjan
Bombeli, Punjab, India
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Politician, Police Officer
- Father – Kundan Sajjan (Served as a head constable with the Punjab Police in India, Served as a member of the World Sikh Organization (WSO) which is a Sikh advocacy group)
- Mother – She worked on berry farms in BC Lower Mainland during the summer.
- Siblings – He has an older sister.
6 ft or 183 cm
82 kg or 181 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Harjit Sajjan has dated –
- Kuljit Kaur (1996-Present) – He tied the knot with a family physician named Kuljit Kaur in the year 1996 and the couple has been blessed with a son named Arjun and a daughter named Jeevut.
Race / Ethnicity
Harjit Sajjan is of Punjabi descent.
Salt and Pepper
Sports a beard
He was a teenager when he was baptized as a Sikh and it was seen as a way to get away from the bad crowds, such as his classmate Bindy Johal who became a gangster and was a self-confessed drug trafficker.
Harjit Sajjan Facts
- He was 5 years old when he immigrated to Canada in 1976 along with his mother and older sister. There, the family joined Harjit’s father who had left for British Columbia two years earlier in order to work at a sawmill.
- He was raised in South Vancouver.
- In 1989, Harjit Sajjan joined The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own) as a trooper. He was subsequently commissioned as an officer in 1991. He rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and was deployed overseas four times in the course of his career: once to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and three times to Afghanistan.
- After coming back from his Bosnian deployment, he served as an officer of the Vancouver Police Department for 11 years and he concluded his career with the Vancouver Police Department as a detective with the department’s gang crimes unit specializing in drug trafficking and organized crime investigation.
- Shortly before the start of Operation Medusa in 2006, he was deployed to Afghanistan for the first time. For this, Sajjan took leave from his work in the Vancouver Police Department’s gang squad. Subsequently, he deployed with the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group in Kandahar and served as a liaison officer with the Afghan police.
- Sajjan eventually found out that corruption in the Afghan government was driving recruitment to the Taliban and he reported this to Brigadier General David Fraser who went on to evaluate Sajjan’s leadership during the operation as “nothing short of brilliant”. In addition to that, Fraser also sent a letter to the police department which called Sajjan “the best single Canadian intelligence asset in theatre” as well as stated that his work saved “a multitude of coalition lives”, and noted that the Canadian Forces should “seek his advice on how to change our entire tactical intelligence training and architecture”.
- On November 4, 2015, he was appointed minister of national defense in the federal Cabinet, headed by Justin Trudeau.
- In an October 2021 cabinet reshuffle, he was moved from the minister of defense to the minister of international development.
Featured Image by Christophe Licoppe / audiovisual.ec.europa.eu