South Asian Canadians

#AskCanadianSikhs (Edmonton)- Why you needed to attend it and the Road Forward!

Panelists Balpreet Singh, Dr. Jasjit Singh, Nav Kaur and Dr Harjeet Grewal.

World Sikh Organization (WSO) organized its 2nd #AskCanadianSikhs panel discussions across 3 cities in Canada and Edmonton chapter took place yesterday. This year they are discussing inclusion of Sikh’s in Canada’s Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada

Like last year, this year saw panelists that included Sikh speakers from North America and U.K. Panelists at Edmonton were WSO Legal Counsel Balpreet Singh, UK Sikh Researcher Dr. Jasjit Singh, Sikh Activist Nav Kaur and Sikh studies professor Dr Harjeet Grewal. Some very important aspects of the report were discussed, including what’s the road forward.

For Starters, here’s the Context:

  • 1.) PM Trudeau’s disastrous Trip to India- We all know about this trip so let us dive in directly into what has this trip done to Sikhs in Canada. The entire Indian narrative of Sikhs asking for justice for things that happened in 1984 and after are labelled as extremists. PM Trudeau was snubbed for having 4 Sikh Ministers in his cabinet and as many as 17 Sikh MP’s.
  • 2.) Khalistan was an extremely important issue to many Sikhs and some of them did take up arms to defend themselves in 1980’s including Canada where one of the worst tragedies to take place was orchested by a Sikh group. Having said that, Sikhs have been a peace loving, forward thinking and high power community in Canada.
  • 3.) The inclusion of Sikhs in Canada’s Public report on Terrorism is a big blow to Sikhs in Canada especially when a major federal party in Canada has a Sikh as a leader, several other candidates are expected to fight for provincial and federal elections, both happening in 2019.

Road Forward

This report was published in December 2018, however, due to the immense pressure faced from WSO and the Sikh community, a statement was issued by Minister Goodale. With this statement, came a promise of reviewing the report by officials to make appropriate changes to the language used throughout the government to describe extremism.

As Sikhs and friends of Sikhs, we need to reach out to our local MPs and keep asking them about an update on this review. We need to keep asking them about this review till this issue is solved because remember if this is not re-tracted now, this may become a big struggle for the upcoming generation. Always remember, it took almost 100 year for Canada to recognize and apologize for Koma Gata Maru incident. It took 34 years for Delhi government to take Delhi Genocide as a Genocide.

Punjabi Media Missing

The Edmonton event was well attended with over 60 people including members from the Gurdwara committees of Singh Sabha, Gurdwara Millwoods and Sikh Society, Alberta party Meadows candidate Amrit Matharu, former MLA Peter Sandhu and Anti-Hate researchers from University of Alberta. However, most of the Punjabi Media was missing except Deepak Sondhi of Times of Asia.

WSO- How can you help?

Did you know WSO was instrumental in bringing the Afghan Sikhs and Hindus to Canada, they are a Human rights organization that does Sikh advocacy, unarguably the best in Canada. They need your monitory help though so that they can keep doing the work they are doing.

#AskCanadianSikhs Panel discussion in Edmonton