Ottawa (February 1, 2024) – The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO), Ontario Gurdwaras Committee (OGC), and British Columbia Gurdwaras Council (BCGC) have jointly applied for standing in the Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions, led by Justice Marie-Josée Hogue.
In a letter addressed to Justice Hogue, the organizations emphasized the importance of including Sikh voices in the inquiry, particularly in light of recent developments regarding India's interference and involvement in influencing electoral outcomes in Canada.
On January 24, the Commission requested the Government of Canada to collect and produce documents relating to alleged interference by India related to the 2019 and 2021 elections. Although the Commission’s Terms of Reference only name China and Russia, the Commission can also examine the role of “other foreign states”. The WSO had earlier written to Justice Hogue on December 13, 2023 requesting the Commission to examine the role of Indian interference in Canada.
Representing significant voices within the Sikh community in Canada, WSO, OGC, and BCGC advocate for the rights, interests, and well-being of Sikhs nationwide. With a collective legacy spanning over four decades, these organizations have played critical and long-standing roles in advocating for political interests, human rights, and civil liberties within the Sikh community.
The organizations underscored the active engagement of Sikhs in the Canadian political process, which has led to targeting by the Government of India. Given this historical context and ongoing concerns, they emphasized the imperative of including Sikh organizations in the inquiry to ensure that the perspectives of affected communities are heard and respected.
Diaspora groups from Ukrainian, Russian, and Chinese communities have been rightfully included in the inquiry, and with India now included in the mandate, the absence of Sikh voices would be unacceptable. The organizations noted their readiness to apply for standing had India been named in the Terms of Reference, and they urged Justice Hogue to exercise discretion in allowing their participation in the inquiry process.
For Further Information Please Contact:
Balpreet Singh- [email protected]
Prabjot Singh- [email protected]