House of Commons passes motion on ‘foreign interference’ in Canada’s internal affairs | World News - Hindustan Times
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House of Commons passes motion on ‘foreign interference’ in Canada’s internal affairs

May 10, 2024 02:43 PM IST

Those who voted for the motion included Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, several Cabinet ministers, and leader of the opposition Conservative Party Pierre Poilievre

Toronto: A private member’s motion which includes allusion to an Indian link to the killing of pro-Khalistan figure Hardeep Singh Nijjar on June 18 last year, has been passed by Canada’s House of Commons.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at Parliament's Question Period in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on May 1. (REUTERS)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at Parliament's Question Period in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on May 1. (REUTERS)

The motion titled “Political Interference, Violence or Intimidation on Canadian Soil” was moved by Indo-Canadian MP Sukh Dhaliwal on February 12. It was seconded by several MPs, including eight Indo-Canadians.

It was passed on Wednesday with 326 votes for and none against. Those who voted for its included Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, several Cabinet ministers, and leader of the opposition Conservative Party Pierre Poilievre.

The motion’s text stated it wants the House of recognise that “recent events, including the credible allegations of a link between agents of the Government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, at a place of worship on Canadian soil, are examples of rising forms of intimidation, threats, and interference from countries such as India, China, Russia, Iran, and others”.

Nijjar was killed on June 18 last year in Surrey, British Columbia. The principal organiser in the province for the secessionist group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), Nijjar was considered a terrorist in India though those allegations were not tested in a Canadian court. His killing impacted bilateral ties after Trudeau stated in the House on September 18 that there were “credible allegations” of a potential link between Indian agents and the murder.

In a post on X on Monday, Dhaliwal said his motion “will hold to account any person or agents of a foreign state undermining our democratic institutions, engaging in acts of violence, or intimidating diaspora communities in Canada”.

The motion had been opposed by the leading Indo-Canadian organisation, the Canada India Foundation (CIF). In a letter to Dhaliwal last month, it’s Board of Directors stated, “This motion if passed will be one more initiative in a lengthy list of provocations that will damage the Canada-India relationship. As an organisation keen to see our bilateral issues resolved, we are concerned that the disproportionate influence exercised by a violent minority continues to cast a shadow on our domestic politics and foreign policy,” CIF noted.”

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