Taleeb Noormohamed squeaks out narrow victory in Vancouver Granville
He's become the first Muslim ever elected to Parliament from B.C.
Taleeb Noormohamed has finally been elected to Parliament in his fourth attempt.
The Liberal candidate narrowly defeated his NDP opponent, Anjali Appadurai, in Vancouver Granville after all the votes were counted.
Noormohamed received 17,055 votes, compared to 16,619 for Appadurai and 13,290 for the Conservative candidate, Kailin Che.
Trailing this trio were Green candidate Imtiaz Popat, who received 1,434 votes, and Damian Jewett of the People's Party of Canada, with 1,177 votes.
Noormohamed received 34.5 percent of all the votes cast. There was a 60.41 percent voter turnout, not including electors who registered on election day.
Appadurai's campaign received a major boost from revelations that Noormohamed bought and sold more than 40 homes since 2005.
He is the first Muslim elected to Parliament in B.C. history. He's an Ismaili, which is a progressive sect of Shia Islam whose spiritual leader is Prince Shāh Karim al-Husayni. He's known Mawlana Hazar Imam to Ismailis and as Aga Khan IV to the world.
In a commentary on Straight.com in 2019, Noormohamed reflected on what it was like growing up brown in Canada. He recalled being called a "f***ing Paki" while working at a McDonald's restaurant and a "shitstain" in high school.
"I was forced to be the person that had to speak out publicly in condemnation every time someone with a Muslim name or a brown face was accused of doing something awful," Noormohamed wrote. "I was asked by cops if I was bothering my white friends, and told by prospective partners that I might have a rough ride with their parents since they’d never thought their child would date a 'brown person'."
Academically gifted, Noormohamed went on to study at Princeton, Oxford, and Harvard universities. He worked with former interim Liberal leader Bob Rae when Rae was heading a review of the Air India bombings.
Noormohamed also worked as vice president of strategy and partnerships for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralymic Games and later became a tech entrepreneur.
In 2004, Noormohamed lost his first bid for federal office when he tried unsuccessfully to win a nomination race from Hedy Fry in Vancouver Centre. Fry was reelected in that riding again on September 20.
In 2011, Noormohamed was defeated as the Liberal candidate in North Vancouver. Then in 2019, he lost to Jody Wilson-Raybould in Vancouver Granville.
When he finally won Vancouver Granville three days after the polls closed, he called this "the honour of a lifetime".
Appadurai, a climate campaigner with Sierra Club B.C., tweeted her appreciation for what she learned from the voters of Vancouver Granville.