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SOURCE: AFI

Three major Sikh organizations in Canada – the World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO), the Ontario Gurdwaras Committee (OGC), and the British Columbia Gurdwaras Council (BCGC) – have jointly applied for standing in the ongoing public inquiry into foreign interference in Canadian elections. This development comes after the inquiry’s mandate was expanded to include potential interference from India.

In a letter addressed to Justice Marie-Josée Hogue, who leads the inquiry, the organizations argue that “with India now included in the mandate, the absence of Sikh voices would be unacceptable.” They emphasize the importance of including their perspective given “recent developments regarding India’s interference and involvement in influencing electoral outcomes in Canada.”

The WSO had previously written to Justice Hogue in December 2023, requesting the inquiry to examine the role of Indian interference. This request aligned with the initial mandate targeting foreign interference from China, Russia, and other unspecified states. In January 2024, the commission’s scope was expanded to include “alleged interference by India related to the 2019 and 2021 elections,” following government recommendations.

The Sikh organizations’ request highlights the potential impact of foreign interference on Canada’s democratic process and the importance of diverse voices in addressing this complex issue. Their participation could shed light on specific concerns related to the Sikh community and contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of potential foreign influence in Canadian elections.