New Canadian Media

   “What was once a dream has become reality for my children” – Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon  

HE City of Brampton hosted its second annual Sikh Heritage Month reception on Tuesday. This year, four outstanding citizens were honoured for their contributions to Brampton and the Sikh community. “It is always an honour to celebrate Sikh Heritage […]

 

Indo-Canadian Voice

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Published in Arts & Culture

SURREY’S annual Vaisakhi Parade, taking place on Saturday, April 23, will once again host a lively and celebratory event to mark the birth of the Sikh faith and is expected to draw in excess of 250,000 people to the community to celebrate and enjoy one of the most important elements of the annual event, […]

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Indo-Canadian Voice

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Published in Arts & Culture

Human Rights advocate and senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Harvinder Singh Phoolka, who has been fighting to secure justice for the next of kin of Sikhs killed in Delhi massacre n 1984, said that he had been purposely targeted by certain pro-Khalistan groups while visiting Canada this week. Phoolka will be honored by members [...]

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The Link

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Published in India

THE World Sikh Organization of Canada held its biennial convention on February 27 in Mississauga, Ontario, where for the first time in its 32-year history a Canadian born Sikh was selected to lead the organization. Mukhbir Singh was unanimously chosen to serve as president for the next two years. Born and raised in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec, […]

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Indo-Canadian Voice

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Published in International

As many as 3,325 persons were killed in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, that many view as genocide. Out of those, 2,733 killings occurred in Delhi. This was stated by India’s Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parathibahi Chaudhary on Tuesday in New Delhi, according to a report in the Tribune newspaper of India. Besides the […]

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Indo-Canadian Voice

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Published in India

SAN FRANCISCO – An Indo-Canadian-Sikh comedian was forced to take off his turban here during [...]

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The Link

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Published in International
Saturday, 13 February 2016 06:33

Brampton Gurdwara Building Destroyed by Fire

While there are severe structural damages to the building, there are no known injuries.  Local sources said that the saroop of Guru Granth Sahib is safe.
While the building is currently locked up, fire investigators are expected to return to determine [...]

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The Link

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Published in National

UPDATE: Aeromexico has issued a directive to its staff regarding the religious significance of the Sikh turban, and plans to make a formal request to the TSA and the Mexican government to implement religious and diversity sensitivity training regarding screening of passengers with religious headwear into its airport security training curriculum, says Sikh Coalition. Waris […]

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Indo-Canadian Voice

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Published in International
Saturday, 06 February 2016 10:12

Canada Defends Fast-Track Refugee Plan to U.S.

by Rosanna Haroutounian in Quebec City 

In this week’s round-up of what’s been making headlines in Canada’s ethnic media: India’s Republic Day was not a celebration for everyone, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s visit to a Sikh shrine was less controversial than first reported and Canada’s plan to settle 25,000 refugees faces more challenges.

Refugee resettlement strategy under scrutiny 

The Canadian government’s plan to accept 25,000 Syrian refugees through immediate government and private sponsorship is facing criticism from south of the border. 

Canada’s government defended its refugee plan at a U.S. Senate committee hearing on Feb. 3 titled “Canada’s Fast-Track Refugee Plan: Unanswered Questions and Implications for U.S. National Security.” 

In a Canadian Press story picked up by the Epoch Times, it was reported that Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., Gary Doer, declined the Republican-controlled committee’s invitation to attend in person. 

Instead, Doer sent a note outlining five security measures related to the Syrian refugee program, four of which involved regular border co-operation with the U.S. 

“Rest assured that no corners, including security screening, are being cut in order to achieve the government’s objectives.”

“Rest assured that no corners, including security screening, are being cut in order to achieve the government’s objectives,” Doer wrote. “Rather, the government has devoted significant resources to this effort.”

Canada’s plan will have to stand up against testimony from border guards, anti-terrorism organizations and economic experts who argue that tightened borders affect the flow of exports from Canada to the U.S.

In related news, some of the Syrian refugees who have arrived are feeling “hopeless” as they wait in hotel rooms to be settled into homes, find work and go to school. 

“Some of the 85 government sponsored refugees say they want to return to the camps in Jordan and Lebanon as opposed to staying in Canada,” reported the Epoch Times, citing a CBC report. 

The Times also refers to an op-ed piece in the Toronto Sun that asks Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to allow more refugees to be accepted through private sponsorship.

India’s Republic Day marked by ceremony, criticism

Events took place in India and Canada on Jan. 26 to celebrate Republic Day, though some were not without controversy. The event marks the adoption of India’s constitution on the same day in 1950. 

As the Indo-Canadian Voice reports, this year’s celebration in New Delhi was a display of pomp and military prowess for politicians and dignitaries, including French President Francois Hollande. 

The Indo-Canadian Voice also reports that the Sikh Regiment was excluded from the Republic Day parade in Delhi, which Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal later called “sad and regrettable” in a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

Meanwhile, according to South Asian Daily, separatist leaders were put under house arrest to prevent protests at the Republic Day celebration in Srinagar, the summer capital of Kashmir state. 

"[O]ur annual recognition serves as reminder to strive for [Mahatma] Gandhi’s message of unity through diversity and thriving together in harmony.”

In Canada, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark made a statement wishing a memorable Republic Day celebration to Canada’s Indo-Canadian community. 

“With a proud and vibrant Indo-Canadian community, British Columbia has always had a special cultural connection with India,” said Clark, as reported in the Indo-Canadian Voice. “As we continue to expand trade and research relationships, those ties will grow stronger,” she went on to say. 

In Ontario, Premier Kathleen Wynne marked the celebration at the Consulate General of India offices in Toronto, ahead of her visit to India on Jan. 27. 

“Sixty-six years ago today the Constitution of India came into force signalling a new era for the entire country,” said Wynne, as quoted in Canada Wishesh. “It was a moment of great triumph and celebration for India, and our annual recognition serves as reminder to strive for [Mahatma] Gandhi’s message of unity through diversity and thriving together in harmony.” 

Conflicting accounts of Wynne’s visit to Sikh temple 

News sources published different reports of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s stop at a Sikh shrine during her visit to India last week. 

Even before her visit to the Golden Temple on Sunday, the Hindustan Times in India reported that the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) would not present the premier with a siropa (robe of honour) because of her support for same-sex marriages. 

According to the Indo-Canadian Voice, SGPC President Avtar Singh Makkar told the Hindustan Times: “Offering her (Wynne) a siropa would be against Sikh ethics.” 

“Offering her (Wynne) a siropa would be against Sikh ethics.”

The Times maintained that Wynne did not receive the siropa even after photos of her were published wearing the robe following the visit, reports the Voice. 

“The SGPC apparently avoided mentioning the presentation of the siropa to save face after having declared that they would not honour Wynne with it. The Punjab government apparently exerted great pressure on the SGPC to present Wynne with a siropa,” reported the Voice. 

An article by Indo-Asian News Service, picked up by both South Asian Daily and Darpan, reported that Wynne was honoured with the siropa, as well as a tour of the shrine’s important areas and a gold-plated photo of the site. 

However, the Punjab Star noted that Wynne did not receive the siropa. 

The Star also reported that a major discussion point for SGPC chief secretary Harcharan Singh was the issue of exempting Sikh men from wearing helmets while driving motorcycles in Ontario. 

It is not clear whether Wynne will consider the exemption.

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in Top Stories

Chandigarh (IANS): The controversy over the exclusion of the Sikh Regiment from the Republic Day parade in Delhi refuses to settle down, with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal describing the episode as “sad and regrettable” in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and saying that the community was “hurt”. In his letter, Badal […]

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Indo-Canadian Voice

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