National Post: Canada at 150: Ethnic communities to mark 150th by focusing on 'Canadian' values

Balpreet Singh Boparai of the World Sikh Organization of Canada said Sikhs are active throughout Canada today in Parliament, serving in the armed services or as professionals and labourers, but that they've been a part of Canadian society for more than a century. Canadian exclusion laws kept them out for several decades, culminating with the Komagata Maru incident of 1914 in which a boatload of passengers from Punjab, India were largely turned away at the border. But at the same time, about 10 Sikhs fought in the Canadian Forces during the First World War, Boparai noted. "We have a very long and proud history in Canada," he said, adding the 150th anniversary is a good opportunity to highlight the country's successes on the multicultural front.

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TVO: Sikh Canadians: A Political Success Story

Balpreet Singh, a spokesperson for the World Sikh Organization of Canada, described another important aspect of his religion this way: At [Guru Nanak’s time], spirituality was considered to be something you do by separating yourself from the world. Whereas, the Sikh approach to spirituality is this: God created the world and God resides within creation. If you want to be spiritual, there’s a personal side to it, for sure, which includes meditation, but serving the world, serving others, is part of your worship, because that’s serving God as well, because God resides in all persons and all creation.

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Globe and Mail: Does Canada harbour Sikh extremists?

“Our position is very clear – that there has been no rise in extremism in the Sikh community,” Balpreet Singh, legal counsel for the World Sikh Organization of Canada, said in a recent telephone interview from Toronto. “There’s been nothing on the ground to suggest that radicalism or anything else is on the rise. In fact, the Canadian Sikh engagement with the mainstream community is at an all-time high.” Despite the issue being raised in all bilateral talks between the Canadian and Indian governments since 2007, there has been little or nothing to substantiate the concerns, he added. “Whenever these allegations come up, it’s always been the question of, ‘Where’s the proof?’ ”

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Globe and Mail: On Sikh separatism, Harper in India defends freedom of expression

Balpreet Singh, spokesman for the World Sikh Organization of Canada, said he was pleased with Mr. Harper’s remarks. “I think Prime Minister Harper has stood up for Canadian values. Freedom of expression is a fundamental right in Canada,” he said. “If anyone is advocating for violence, that would be of grave concern to us as well.”

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National Post: Canada Census: One in Five Speaks a Foreign Lanugage at Home

Gian Kaur, 2, was born in Canada but her first language is Punjabi. She is photographed with father Balpreet Singh and her mother Baljeet Kaur at their home in Newmarket on October 23, 2012. In 2006, Punjabi was the sixth most common mother tongue. In the last census, it's use jumped 34.4 per cent.

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The Province: WSO offers support to Sikh cadet corps push

The World Sikh Organization of Canada is offering their full support to the Surrey community in the fight for the Surrey Sikh cadet corps, it announced Tuesday.

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Globe and Mail: Wisconsin shooting changes Americans’ perceptions of Sikhs

“There are several Sikhs active in politics in America, but it’s not nearly at the same level as in Canada,” said Balpreet Singh, a Toronto-based member of the World Sikh Organization. “Personally, I think the political climate has a lot to do with it. Candidates there feel, let’s be honest, the need to highlight their Christianity.”

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CBC: Sikh temple gunman's online activity probed

Canadians are expressing shock and condolences following the shooting at a Milwaukee-area Sikh temple. Prem Singh Vinning, president of the Ottawa-based World Sikh Organization of Canada, said: "Sikhs in Canada and across the world are shocked by the horrific violence. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

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Globe and Mail: Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting probed as 'domestic terrorism'

Grief rippled through Canada’s Sikh community as news of the shooting reached people leaving their Sunday morning prayer services. “You feel so helpless when you see the violence that’s taken place,” said Balpreet Singh, acting executive director of the World Sikh Organization of Canada. “Really, all you can do is pray for the victims.”

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Toronto Star: Brampton Sikh elementary school vandalized by racist graffiti

Graffiti attacks against Sikhs are not uncommon, said Balpreet Singh, acting executive director of the World Sikh Organization of Canada.

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