WSO Successfully Advocates for Religious Head Coverings at World Karate Federation

Ottawa (November 29, 2018) – The World Sikh Organization of Canada welcomes the World Karate Federation (WKF) accommodation of religiously mandated headwear for male competitors. Prior to the change, only female athletes were permitted to wear head coverings. The rule change, coming into effect on January 1, 2019,  will allow all Sikh competitors across the world  to wear religious head-coverings while competing.

The WKF has announced that it has approved a new version of its rules which allows all athletes to wear plain black head coverings during competition for religious reasons.  The WSO had worked with Karate Canada to advocate for the rule change at the international level.  

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WSO & Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation Welcome Approval of Afghan Hindu & Sikh Refugee Applications

Ottawa (November 28, 2018):  Yesterday, the Government of Canada announced that it is approving the resettlement of Sikh and Hindu refugees to Canada, who had fled Afghanistan due to religious persecution. These private sponsorship applications were spearheaded by the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation and World Sikh Organization of Canada, along with community groups, and individuals carrying on the tireless work of Manmeet Singh Bhullar.
 
In 2015, through the World Sikh Organization of Canada, Manmeet Singh Bhullar learned about the plight of these children, women, and men. He began what was seen as an insurmountable task, by sharing with government officials in Canada and abroad, organizations, and individuals, the dire need to find a viable solution to the daily atrocities Sikhs and Hindus face in Afghanistan. He individually oversaw the safe exit of one family at a time from the province of Helmand into a neighbouring country. While settling them in and finding local organizations that would provide food, shelter, clothing, he knew that a permanent solution was needed.
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WSO Condemns Racist Vandalism of Kelowna Gurdwara

Kelowna (November 19, 2018)  The World Sikh Organization of Canada condemns the racist vandalism of the Gurdwara Guru Amardas Darbar Sikh Society in Kelowna, British Columbia.  The racist graffiti was discovered today as a congregation was starting.    

The WSO has been in contact with members of the Guru Amardas Darbar Sikh Society gurdwara, including President Tarsem Singh, and offered support and assistance in dealing with this incident. 

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WSO Works to Introduce Kirpan Accommodation on BC Ferries

Surrey (November 14, 2018):  The WSO has worked to implement a kirpan accommodation policy with BC Ferries after several Sikh passengers were told they could not wear their kirpans while travelling.

BC Ferries provides transportation for many BC residents who travel between the mainland and coastal and island communities.

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Lack of Commemoration of 1984 Sikh Genocide by PM Trudeau and Premier Ford Disappointing: WSO

Ottawa (November 6, 2018):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada is deeply disappointed by the lack of commemoration of the 1984 Sikh Genocide by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well as Ontario Premier Doug Ford.  Neither Prime Minister Trudeau nor Premier Ford issued any commemoration of the 1984 Sikh Genocide that is marked by Sikhs across the world during the first week of November.

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WSO Statement on Denial of Leave to Appeal Singh v. A.G. Quebec

Ottawa (October 25, 2018):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada is deeply disappointed by today’s decision of the Supreme Court of Canada to deny leave to appeal in the case Singh, et al. v. Attorney General of Québec

In January 2011, the appellants in the case, Harminder Kaur and Balpreet Singh were part of a WSO delegation that had been invited to make a presentation at the Quebec National Assembly on on Bill 94 which would deny essential government services, public employment to individuals who wear facial coverings. The WSO’s team was excluded from the hearing before the Committee on Institutions because they were wearing the kirpan. The Sikh faith requires initiated men and women to wear the five Sikh articles of faith, including the kirpan, at all times. 

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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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