A Brampton MP has been named one of Canada’s top immigrants this year.
Sonia Sidhu, who is the member of Parliament for Brampton South, is one of four Peel residents who received a Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award from Canadian Immigrant, a publication owned by Metroland Media Group, which also owns the Brampton Guardian.
For Sidhu, who was been the MP for Brampton South since 2015, the recognition was very touching and was further proof of what was possible with the combination of support and self-belief.
“A girl came from India (who was) full of dreams and I can see this is a country where everyone can try no matter where that person comes from,” she said.
Sidhu said she arrived in Winnipeg from India in 1992 when she was in her early 20s to be with her husband who was in Canada four years earlier.
Aside from the -30 degree weather, the biggest challenge, she said, was raising her twin daughters without her immediate family living nearby.
The Brampton MP previously worked in health care and has made diabetes one of her major issues since being elected, passing a private member’s bill last June to establish a national framework to address the disease, which can cause vision loss, kidney failure and cardiovascular disease.
The issue hits close to home across Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon with Peel Region seeing higher rates of diabetes than the Ontario average between 1996 and 2015, according to data published by Peel Public Health.
Sidhu said she saw people “going down and down” with untreated diabetes when she was working in health care and always wondered what more could be done.
“We give insulin to the world,” she said. “So why we can’t we find a cure?”
Sidhu was also recognized this year by Diabetes Canada with the Frederick G. Banting Award for her efforts to raise awareness about diabetes.
After the award was announced, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted out his congratulations to Sidhu, calling her “tireless” in her work to raise awareness end diabetes.
As of 2015, there were more than 161,000 Peel residents living with diabetes.