Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Foreign Issues Have No Place in Canadian Politics

On March 01, 2010, the Toronto Star quoted Harbans Jandali, president of the Ontario Sikh and Gurdwara Council: "Unless they make amends quickly, the Liberals will definitely lose this community's votes." He was reacting to Premier Dalton McGuinty's 30-minute meeting with Kamal Nath, a minister in the Indian government, in Toronto to speak to the Canada-India Business Council.

Sikhs allege that Nath abetted riots in which more than 3,000 Sikhs were killed -- riots in reaction to the 1984 assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. I sent a copy of this letter to the Sikh Council. No reply. The Star did not publish it:

Re Sikh leaders promise to make McGuinty pay, March 24, 2010

I hope the president of the Ontario Sikh and Gurdwara Council was misquoted when he threatened to make an event in India an issue in an Ontario election. Otherwise, it means that when I cast my ballot over such matters as education, health care, social welfare etc., my vote will be cancelled because of an incident in a distant land with no relevance to Ontario.

My parents came to Toronto in the 1920s. Not once did they talk of the politics of their native Austria. They did not force us to learn German, or wear the costumes of their homeland. They always voted for what they thought best for Toronto, for Ontario, for Canada, not for Austria. All they wanted was to blend into their chosen culture. It is to be hoped later waves of immigrants do likewise.

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