Ottawa (April 23, 2019): The World Sikh Organization of Canada is deeply troubled by a report published today in the Globe & Mail that states Patrick Brown, the then leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, was “under ‘pressure’ from the Indian consulate” to reject a Sikh candidate during a nomination battle in May 2017.
According to the Globe Investigation, Patrick Brown was under “pressure” from the Indian consulate in Toronto to reject the candidacy of Vikram Singh because of the consulate’s allegations against his father.
Singh went on to lose the nomination vote in a process that was “riddled with problems” and allegations of fraud.
Last week, the WSO wrote to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale with respect to concerns over the interference of Indian interests in Canada and within the Sikh community. The Sikh community has long been aware of Indian intelligence activities in Canada including interference in community issues, intimidation and coercion. The WSO expressed concerns that Canada and the Sikh community more specifically could be targeted by Indian interests during the upcoming federal elections.
WSO President Mukhbir Singh said today, “the report in today’s Globe & Mail in which it was revealed that the then leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative was under ‘pressure’ from the Indian consulate in Toronto to reject a Sikh candidate is absolutely shocking. A foreign government has no business telling political parties in Canada who they should run as candidates. We have expressed fears that there is a history of Indian interference and intimidation in Canada, often targeted at the Sikh community, which may be exacerbated during the upcoming federal elections. Today’s reports would seem to validate those fears. We expect the Canadian government to take the necessary steps to ensure that Canada is free from foreign interference.”