WSO in 2012: Year in Review

2012 marked WSO’s 28th year in the service of the Sikh community. Below is a brief review of our activities and achievements in 2012 in the three main areas of WSO’s operation: legal advocacy, outreach & education, and media response:

WSO’s Legal Advocacy in 2012 

In 2012 WSO was a leading advocate on behalf of the Canadian Sikh community.  We are regularly approached by members of the community facing legal issues with respect to human rights or Sikh articles of faith. 

Some of our key achievements in 2012 were:

  • Kirpans Now Accommodated in Toronto Courthouses
  • Settlement of Gas Mask/Beard Case
  • Settlement of a Case Involving Improper Treatment of a Sikh Patient
  • Advocacy on the Quebec Soccer and Turban Issue
  • Greyhound Kirpan Policy
  • Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) Turban Policy
  • Cases Involving Accommodations For Our Articles of Faith

For details on WSO’s advocacy in 2012, please click here.

Education & Outreach 2012

Education & outreach remained a key focus of WSO in 2012.  Some of our initiatives were:

  • New Sikhism Module for the Toronto Police Service
  • WSO involved in Interfaith Initiatives
  •  Presentations on Human Rights
  • Bullying Surveys
  • Immigration Consultations
  • Connecting with Elected Officials
  • Annual June Human Rights Events
  • Punjab Human Rights Advocacy & the Khalra Centre for Human Rights Defenders in India
  • Working with Sikh Inmates
  • Education & Training Seminars for Employers & Government

A detailed report on WSO’s education and outreach initiatives in 2012 can be found here.

Media Engagement 2012 

Once again, WSO was the voice of Canadian Sikhs in the national media whenever issues arose which affected the Sikh community.  Some of the publications WSO was quoted or featured in are:

  • Toronto Star, Globe & Mail, National Post, Vancouver Province, Montreal Gazette, Huffington Post and others. 

Some of the issues WSO was consulted on were:

  • Immigration policy
  • Anti-Sikh racism
  • Gender preferences in the South Asian community
  • Oak Creek tragedy
  • Census results
  • In April, some media misrepresented the “Save Rajoana” campaign as the Sikh community’s support for extremism.  In response, WSO’s legal counsel Balpreet Singh published an Op Ed in the Province entitled “Media must publish the story behind the story

For a list of WSO in the media, please click here.
For a list of WSO news releases, please click here.


Every year, WSO spends tens of thousands of dollars on fearlessly protecting Sikh interests.  Because we receive no government assistance or grants this seva isn’t possible without your support.  In order to meet our goals for 2013 and to serve the community in an even more comprehensive manner we need your help.

You can contribute to WSO by volunteering your services or by offering financial support through your donations.

You can donate online by clicking HERE.

We sincerely appreciate all your efforts for WSO, and look forward to expanding our services in 2013.