The WSO has ramped up talk about Indian interference in Canadian elections for a while now. Last year the federal government’s top bureaucrats chimed in with an ominous warning that the Chinese and Indian governments could possibly use their vast diasporas in Canada to advance their own interests.
This warning was revealed in a secret report prepared for deputy ministers attending a retreat on national security last year that also flagged the challenge in preventing foreign countries from launching “hostile actions” against Canada.
Such actions include cyber-attacks, spreading of misinformation and using diaspora communities, either directly or indirectly, to steal technology, influence elections and target the Canadian economy and infrastructure.
Obtained by The Canadian Press through the access-to-information law, the report’s release comes as the Liberals and Conservatives have sparred ahead of the fall election over the best way to deal with both China and India.
The report specifically cites the growing role Canada’s Chinese and Indian communities are playing in all levels of government as a good thing and reflective of the increasing diversity of this country’s political system.
However, it also warns of a risk of these communities are being influenced by foreign governments knowing or unknowingly.
Meanwhile the World Sikh Organization has issued an appeal for funds, stating: “We can only continue to protect and promote the interests of Sikh Canadians with your help.
“Please donate so that we can continue to work in building meaningful relationships with journalists and media outlets in Canada, as well as continuing to effectively monitor media stories from across the world.
Jaskaran Singh Sandhu the Executive Director of WSO echoed warnings put out by Canadian officials. “We have been raising red flags over Indian interference in Canadian affairs regularly with the media and government, including in multiple caucus meetings with Members of Parliament and leadership across all party lines.
“We have time and time again seen media manipulation stemming from India which maligns Sikh Canadians. The most infamous examples coming from Prime Minister Trudeau’s trip to India.
“In light of that interference we launched #AskCanadianSikhs, our formal media relations arm of the WSO, over a year ago.
“Just recently two stories have been published where we played an integral role in getting the Sikh message across – that we fear Indian interference in our community affairs, and in the affairs of Canada.
“It is happening, and it is only getting worse,” he said in a statement.
The second story is from the Canadian Press and specifically covers the very real threat of Indian interference in Canadian Sikh affairs and the upcoming elections. The Canadian Press story appears in essentially every major media publication in Canada.
This talk of Indian interference is getting nasty and is polarizing the South Asian community. Cracks and divisions are happening as a result between communities and this will in time diminish our influence and reputation. -CINEWS