First Indo-Canadian woman elected to the Legislative Assembly (1991) and first member to give birth while in office (1992)
Judi Tyabji was born in Calcutta, India. Following her family’s move to Canada, they settled first in Toronto, Ontario and later Kelowna, British Columbia. Tyabji obtained a political science degree from the University of Victoria before gaining work in Vancouver as an executive assistant for the federal Liberal Party of Canada.
Tyabji joined the B.C. Liberal Party in the late 1980s, serving as a regional party representative before running successfully as a candidate for the riding of Okanagan-East in the 1991 provincial general election that saw the party re-emerge on the political stage. With her victory, the 26-year-old Tyabji became the first Indo-Canadian woman elected to the Legislative Assembly. The following year she broke more new ground for women, becoming the first member to give birth while in office.
In her maiden speech in the House, Tyabji committed to championing agriculture and environmental issues, and later became Opposition critic for the environment.
Tyabji sat as a member of the B.C. Liberal Party in the Legislative Assembly until 1993, when she joined the Progressive Democratic Alliance. Following the loss of her seat in the 1996 provincial general election, Tyabji was a radio and television personality and served as a city councillor in Powell River, British Columbia. She has since held leadership roles with an environmental society and a software company and has written several books.