'Indians playing significant role in Canadian politics' | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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'Indians playing significant role in Canadian politics'

chandigarh Updated: Jan 09, 2010 21:15 IST

Peter Milliken, speaker of the Canadian House of Commons, said on Saturday that Indians are playing a "significant" role in his country's politics.

"Indians are playing a very significant role in Canadian politics. We have a good number of parliamentarians of Indian origin," Milliken, who represents Kingston Ontario, told reporters here.

"Considering the size of our country, Indians are very actively involved in Canadian politics. They are contributing a considerable share of their vast experience in our country and this is one of the reasons behind our success and prosperity," he added.

Milliken, along with a delegation of Canadian officials, had come to Punjab Friday. He was in Chandigarh Saturday and met various leaders of Punjab’s ruling Akali Dal.

Gurbax Singh Malhi, a Canadian MP of Punjabi-origin, who was accompanying Milliken, said: "Canada is a multi-cultural society consisting of diverse heritages and religions. The government understands our religion and respects Punjabis, which is the main reason behind our success there."

About the problems faced by Punjabis in Canada, Malhi said: "They are mostly harassed due to property-related disputes back home. Young boys and girls are also facing the problem of contract or fraudulent marriages."

Malhi, who represents the Bramalea-Gore-Malton constituency, said he had moved a motion in the Commons to ban both men and women, in cases where one partner had migrated to Canada after marrying a Canadian citizen, from remarrying for at least five years if the couple divorced, to deter the practice of contract marriages.

"If this proposal is converted into law, then besides the Punjabi community, it will benefit all sections of society," he pointed out.

Earlier, a delegation led by Milliken met Punjab Vidhan Sabha speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon Saturday.

"We have impressed upon the delegation to make investments in India, particularly in Punjab, in various fields like agro-processing, information technology and infrastructure. We have assured all kind of support to the prospective investors and entrepreneurs from Canada," said Kahlon.