WSO Welcomes Ontario Motorcycle Helmet Exemption for Sikhs

(October 10, 2018): The World Sikh Organization of Canada welcomes today’s announcement by the Ontario Government to, as of October 18, 2018, exempt turbaned Sikh motorcyclists from helmet requirements.

Last week MPP Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria introduced a bill to amend the Highway Traffic Act to exempt turban-wearers from helmet requirements, but the government said Wednesday it would provide the exemption through a regulation.

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WSO Holds Canada-Wide Orientation Sessions for International Students

Ottawa (September 26, 2018):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada is holidng orientation sessions for international students in cities across Canada, including Montreal, Ottawa, Brampton, Windsor, Winnipeg and Surrey. 

Canada has welcomed over 500,000 international students who currently study at educational institutions across the country.  India is the source of approximately 25% of all international students in Canada and students from Punjab make up the majority of that number.

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WSO Concerned by Use of Notwithstanding Clause by Ontario Government

Ottawa (September 14, 2018):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada is concerned by the invoking of the notwithstanding clause by the Ontario government to uphold Bill 31, The Efficient Local Government Act.

The notwithstanding clause, found in section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms, allows governments to override Charter rights in section 2 or sections 7 through 15 for a period of five years, unless renewed.  While the notwithstanding clause has been used before in Quebec and Saskatchewan, this is the first time it has been invoked in Ontario. 

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WSO Condemns Violence at Yuba City Gurdwara

Ottawa (August 27, 2018):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada condemns the violence that took place Saturday at the Yuba City Gurdwara in California, USA.  Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee President Manjit Singh GK was assaulted outside the gurdwara.

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Sikhs Urge Dialogue to Promote Their Inclusion in Quebec

Montreal (August 20, 2018):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada today called upon the City of Montreal and the Government of Quebec to work far harder to implement concrete measures to break down systemic barriers that make it difficult for Sikhs, and other minorities, to play their full role in Quebec society.

WSO President Mukhbir Singh said that there are over 500,000 Sikhs across Canada representing some 1.5% of the national population and that there are approximately 15,000 Sikhs in Quebec with significant populations in the Montreal Borough of Lasalle and the Cities of Dollard des Ormeaux, Laval, Brossard and Vaudreuil-Dorion. He indicated that many Sikhs in Quebec were born here and that young Sikhs have successfully graduated from Quebec educational institutions and are fluent in French.

“Sadly we note that there are virtually no Sikhs employees in the Montreal and provincial civil services. Moreover, the Montreal police and Surete du Quebec have yet to allow the wearing of the turban and develop hiring policies that could attract otherwise qualified Sikh candidates,” Mr. Singh said.

 

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WSO Calls on India to End Mob Lynchings & Protect Minorities

Ottawa (July 25, 2018):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada is gravely concerned by the increasing number of mob lynching attacks perpetrated by radical Hindutva terror groups and calls on the Indian government to do more to protect minorities.

Attacks on religious minorities have been escalating since 2014. In the past two months, over 20 murders by radical Hindu “cow protector” lynch mobs of mainly Muslim victims have been reported across India. 

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Canadian Sikhs Bodies Call For Action on Afghan Sikh/Hindu Issue

Ottawa (July 11, 2018):  Following the tragic suicide bombing attack against a delegation of Afghan Sikh and Hindu leaders on July 1, in Jalalabad that took 19 lives, over 50 Canadian Sikh gurdwaras and organizations from across the country have joined together to call on the Canadian government to help save Afghanistan's minority Sikh and Hindu communities.  Meetings and press conferences were organized by major Sikh gurdwaras and societies in the Toronto and Vancouver areas last weekend. The press conferences were also attended by members of Alberta MLA Manmeet Singh Bhullar's family.  Bhullar championed the cause of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus before his tragic passing in November 2015.  The gurdwaras and societies have urgently called on the Canadian government to:

  1.    Recognize Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan as vulnerable minorities and develop an appropriate plan of action to directly evacuate them from their current situation without requiring them to first go to a third country.  
  2.    Fast-track the files of the 65 Afghan Sikh & Hindu refugee families who have been privately sponsored and whose files are under process.

WSO President Mukhbir Singh said, "the situation for Afghanistan's Hindus and Sikhs continues to deteriorate. Gurdwaras and Sikh societies from across Canada are united on this matter- urgent action is needed to save these vulnerable minorities before it is too late. Before his passing in November 2015, Manmeet Singh Bhullar championed this issue and brought it to the attention of the Canadian Government.  We need the Government of Canada to urgently act to process the refugee applications of these vulnerable minorities on an expedited basis and to create a program that would allow Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan to be directly evacuated to Canada. We fear that any further delay may result in further tragedy and loss of life." 

The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is a non-profit organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of Canadian Sikhs, as well as to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights for all individuals, irrespective of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, and social and economic status


WSO Condemns Deadly Blast Targeting Sikh Minority in Afghanistan

Ottawa (July 1, 2018):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada is deeply disturbed by the suicide bomb attack on a Sikh and Hindu delegation today in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, which killed at least 19.  The delegation of Sikhs and Hindus was going to meet Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani. According to reports and sources reporting to the WSO on the ground, the delegation included many high-profile Sikh leaders and community elders from Jalalabad and Kabul.

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WSO Statement on Edson Mosque Arson

Calgary (June 20, 2018): The World Sikh Organization of Canada is deeply concerned by the mosque fire in Edson, Alberta over the weekend. Fire officials believe the blaze, which took place during the Muslim celebration of Eid al-Fitr was the result of arson. The fire damaged the entrance to the mosque.

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WSO Announces New Executive Director

Toronto (June 19, 2018): The World Sikh Organization of Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Jaskaran Singh Sandhu as Executive Director.

Jaskaran is a Toronto area lawyer and community advocate who earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto in 2008, and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Windsor Law School in 2011.

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