World Sikh Organization Disappointed by ‘Air India Action Plan’

Ottawa: (December 7, 2010) The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is disappointed by the Government of Canada’s ‘Air India Action Plan’. The Plan omits many of the key recommendations made by Justice John Major’s report including the establishment of a National Security Adviser, universal air cargo screening and appropriate compensation for the victims’ families.

“We have always felt that the families should be compensated. Justice Major recommended an arm’s length body be established to determine appropriate compensation but six months after the release of the Air India Report, it’s clear the Government is not taking this seriously and is in fact contributing to the ongoing frustration of the victims’ families.” said WSO President Prem Singh Vinning.

WSO is also disappointed that the Government has ignored Justice Major’s key recommendation that a National Security Advisor be appointed to oversee the RCMP and CSIS and ensure that information crucial to public safety is not withheld. The Air India Report highlighted key intelligence failures and the breakdown of communication between both agencies which still need to be addressed.

Another key recommendation made by the Air India Report regarding increased cargo screening has also not found its way into the Air India Action Plan. “While we see an increasing focus on passenger screening, Justice Major identified lax cargo screening as a major gap in our airline security. We fail to understand why something Justice Major referred to as a ‘serious potential target for sabotage’ could have been ignored” said Gian Singh Sandhu, WSO Senior Policy Advisor.
WSO calls upon the Government of Canada to unequivocally accept and implement all of Justice Major’s key recommendations. The greatest tribute to the victims of the Air India bombing is to ensure that appropriate steps are taken so that such a tragedy is never allowed to happen again.

The World Sikh Organization (WSO) is a non-profit international organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of the Sikh Diaspora, 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.
- 30 -

For more information, please contact

Gian Singh Sandhu
Senior Policy Advisor
604-341-2755
gianssandhu@gmail.com

or

Balpreet Singh
Legal Counsel
416-904-9110
balpreetsingh@worldsikh.org