National Advocacy - October 2018 Update

September was a busy month.

I started off in Manitoba, taking part in the Winnipeg Nagar Kirtan with our local team, educating the community on essential social services available to us and the role the Sikh Family Helpline plays in connecting those in need with service providers.

I then found myself on the road again with our legal counsel Balpreet Singh, spending a week in Ottawa meeting key stakeholders, politicians, and government officials to discuss a variety of issues, such as the Afghan Sikh refugee file, Government of India interference in Sikh Canadian affairs, and the thoughts of Sikh Canadians across this country.

From Ottawa, Balpreet and I made the short trip to Montreal - an important journey as it was in the lead up to the provincial elections (CAQ ended up being elected). We met with leaders of local provincial parties to discuss religious freedom and community stakeholders working hard to make a life for themselves in Quebec. We also held international students orientation session at Concordia University and LaSalle Gurdwara.

I ended the month with a week-long trip to Alberta, split between Edmonton and Calgary, where we met with academics, provincial political parties, and youth stakeholders. We also held a lunch and learn with CBC, discussing the mainstream media coverage of Sikhs and where it can get better - a wonderfully constructive dialogue that we have been replicating across Canada.

All along the way, we hosted multiple international student orientation sessions across Canada, providing our students the tools and advice necessary to make the most of their experience in Canada and continue to uplift Sikh Canadians to new heights.

One thing is clear to me - our community is vibrant and robust. Our community is also hyper-engaged and concerned about fellow Sikhs regardless of where they may reside in Canada (like those in Quebec fighting religious discrimination).

This sense of community is inspiring, and I am proud of the work the WSO does to advocate for us across Canada. We cannot continue to fight for our rights, develop our youth, or engage in media relations, without your financial support. We thank you for your small or large contribution, every dollar helps to ensure we can speak effectively for Sikhs from coast to coast to coast.

Jaskaran Singh Sandhu
Executive Director

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