In a first, Hindu stakeholders included in Canada’s budget preparation | World News - Hindustan Times
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In a first, Hindu stakeholders included in Canada’s budget preparation

Apr 18, 2024 03:27 PM IST

On April 2, the Canadian Hindu Chamber of Commerce (CHCC) received an exclusive invitation to a restricted-access, embargoed budget reading in Ottawa, marking the inaugural participation of a community organisation in this procedure

Canada’s Hindu community was included as a stakeholder for the first time in the budgetary process in the country ahead of it being tabled in the House of Commons on Tuesday. At the same time, the 2024 budget had made a substantial allocation towards promoting Sikh heritage.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland pose for a picture holding the 2024-25 budget, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Tuesday. (REUTERS)
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland pose for a picture holding the 2024-25 budget, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Tuesday. (REUTERS)

The Canadian Hindu Chamber of Commerce (CHCC) was invited on April 2 to an access-restricted embargoed reading of the budget in Ottawa, making it the first community organisation to be involved in the process. “We’re thrilled to be seen as a stakeholder for the Ministry of Finance. It’s a big win for the Hindu community and a recognition of our commitment to advocating for Hindu businesses and professionals.” CHCC president Kushagr Dutt Sharma, who represented the chamber at the reading, said.

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“Our participation in the embargoed reading reflects our commitment to fostering meaningful engagement with government officials and promoting policies that support economic prosperity and social cohesion,” he added.

Meanwhile, the announcements in the budget included a proposal to support the Sikh Arts & Culture Foundation and the Royal Ontario Museum to create a museum space in Toronto dedicated to Sikh arts, culture, and heritage. A sum of CA$ 11 million, spread over two years beginning from 2024-2025, has been earmarked for that project and to support the operations of the Hellenic Community of Vancouver.

The document also stated the Federal Government “will contribute to build a new museum highlighting the histories, cultures, and contributions of Canadians of diverse South Asian heritages.”

“The government is committed to preserving the past and supporting the future of Canada’s remarkable diversity,” the budget document noted.

Meanwhile, the CHCC, while commending the government for “its commitment to economic growth, housing affordability, and social inclusion”, expressed “deep concern over the absence of targeted provisions for the Hindu community in Budget 2024.”

A release from the organisation on Wednesday said, “CHCC underscores the significant contributions of the Hindu community to Canada’s economy and society and emphasises the importance of equitable treatment and representation in government policies and initiatives.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Anirudh Bhattacharya is a Toronto-based commentator on North American issues, and an author. He has also worked as a journalist in New Delhi and New York spanning print, television and digital media. He tweets as @anirudhb.

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