We were bemused to see an article by the Georgia Straight’s Charlie Smith attempting to draw a link between NDP leadership candidate Martin Singh’s campaign and the WSO. To illustrate the connection, Mr. Smith refers to an articleposted on WSO’s site from 2006 about a visit by the Canadian Armed Forces to the Halifax Gurdwara which was then headed by Martin Singh. WSO wasn’t involved in the visit in any capacity, but posted it as an interesting news piece on Sikhs in Canada.
Mr. Smith then moves on to reference Martin Singh’s having attended an event organized by the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara (GNSG) on “faith, leadership and the future” last October which was also attended by WSO’s BC Vice President Gurdit Singh Rangi and GNSG President Bikramjit Singh Sandhar .
So to summarize, firstly, Martin Singh is mentioned in an article from 2006 that has been posted to WSO’s website and secondly, he attended an event which was also attended by WSO’s BC Vice-President.
Perhaps to add some intrigue and spice to the story, Mr. Smith also briefly references the Khalistan movement of the 80s and early 90s.
With this evidence on hand, Mr. Smith makes what is nothing less than a fantastic leap of imagination to suggest that perhaps “Singh’s candidacy is an attempt by the WSO to gain greater influence in federal politics by helping to coronate the next NDP leader.”
Hard-hitting investigative journalism this was not.
WSO is a national representative body of Canadian Sikhs and has members from every political persuasion, but as a matter of policy does not officially endorse any party or candidate. We work with all the different parties across the political spectrum on issues of mutual concern, as they arise.
Martin Singh’s candidacy is a first for a Canadian Sikh and we wish him all the best, but he has never been officially endorsed by WSO.
Perhaps we could have helped clarify the situation for Mr. Smith had he actually contacted us for his story. Certainly not what we would have expected from the editor of a respectable online news source.