About the Hon. Harinder Takhar
Harinder Takhar has been a long time resident (30 years) of Mississauga, married and proud father of two daughters. He believes in ensuring a vibrant, diverse, prosperous and safe community where everyone has an opportunity to contribute and grow.
Harinder Takhar’s educational credentials include a Master’s degree in Economics, Political Science and an undergraduate degree in English, Economics and Political Science. He holds the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and professional administrator’s designations. He was awarded the prestigious State Merit Scholarship and stood first in Economics during his studies for his Bachelor’s degree. Harinder believes in life long learning and has completed several executive leadership courses at Rotman School Of Management (University of Toronto) and at the Schulich School of Business (York University). He was appointed Fellow (FCMA) of the Society of Management Accountants of Canada in 2002.
Takhar has been profiled extensively for his community service in the various newspapers and national magazines including the December 2001 issue of the “Canadian Living” magazine, March 2002 issue of “Mississauga Business Times” and an article published in CMA “Management” magazine.
Harinder was elected to the Ontario Legislature in October 2003. He was then re-elected in 2007. He was immediately appointed to the Executive Council of Ontario and as the Minister of Transportation. He served in that capacity for 2.5 years and was then appointed as Ontario’s first Minister of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, then Minister of Small Business and Consumer Services before being appointed to his current role as Minister of Government Services in June of 2009.
Harinder Takhar served as Chairman and a member of the Board of Governors of the Credit Valley Hospital, Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, Resources Committee and Treasurer of the Board; a founding member of the Board of Directors and President of the International Punjabi Chamber of Commerce. In June 1997, Harinder became a member of the Board of Directors of the Education Safety Association of Ontario and served in that capacity for approximately four years.
Harinder also served as the Chair of the Untied Way of Peel Region. He accepted the chairmanship of The United Way of Peel at a very critical time in that organization’s history. Under his leadership the organization regained contributor confidence, which resulted in two very successful fundraising campaigns in a single year which eliminated the debt entirely.
Harinder Takhar has a unique blend of public and private sector experience. He joined the Peel District School Board in September 1994 and served as the Associate Director and Chief Financial Officer. As such, he was responsible for all of the Board’s financial, strategic and operational planning, human resources, plant and physical planning services and manages an operating and capital budget in excess of $900 million.
Before his election, Takhar also served as the President and CEO of Chalmers Group Of Companies. Chalmers Group, which consisted of five manufacturing companies with operations in Canada and the USA. The company sales increased eighteen fold in ten years. Chalmers was judged a finalist among the 50 best-managed private companies in Canada in 1995. In 1999, Chalmers was given the “Award of Excellence” by the Ontario Chamber Of Commerce along with larger companies like Ford of Canada and Canadian Tire. Also, Harinder Takhar was given the “2001 New Pioneers Entrepreneur of the Year Award”, by “Skills for Change”, a Canadian Organization. He also received the ’2001 Community Service Award’ from the Society Of Management Accountants of Ontario. Most recently, he received the SEWA Award from the Sikh Centennial Foundation and the prestigious President’s Award from the Indo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce. In a recent trip to India, Harinder was honoured by various organizations.
From 1991 to 1994, Harinder Takhar had been executive vice-president of finance and administration of the earth and environmental group and vice-president finance and chief financial officer of the engineering group of AGRA INDUSTRIES LIMITED.
Prior to his positions with AGRA INDUSTRIES, he served as vice-president of finance and operations services for LINEAR TECHNOLOGY INC., GENNUM CORPORATION and as a Controller for TIMEX CANADA INC.
Takhar taught business and CMA/CGA accredited courses at Sheridan College for 13 years. He served as a mentor for many students aspiring to join CGA and CMA programs.
Harinder has a good sense of what Ontario and Canada is all about, and how the efforts and hard work of individuals can make a difference. He believes strongly in building better communities and making full use of the skills and qualifications of all Ontarians.