The Khalistani groups are planning major disruptions during Vijaydashmi programme being organised by the Hindu community in Canada's Surrey on Tuesday, October 24.
Sources told News18 that individuals and groups supportive of Khalistan are planning to bring huge vehicles to stop entry of Hindus to the venue.
“It is learnt that the pro-Khalistan people will also bring protestors who are already gathered in Surrey for October 28 programme for referendum,” the sources added.
Chief of Khalistani outfit Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) has urged Canadian Sikhs to gather in Vancouver on October 28 for a referendum to vote on whether the Indian High Commissioner Sanjay Kumar Verma is responsible for Hardeep Singh Nijjar's killing.
According to sources, they are planning “major insults to Hindus and Indians” by burning effigies of prominent Indian leaders.
Local Hindus said that Royal Canadian Mounted Police is not ready to take action because they say this is ongoing tension between India and Sikhs, and Canada gives freedom of speech.
CNN News18 had already reported that Khalistani groups are using Radio stations to radicalised young Sikhs born after 1984.
News agency PTI too reported that within Canada, there are Khalistani supporters who are enticing and easily influencing Sikh youth to immigrate to North America.
They are offering sponsorship for their visas, but their primary intention is to manipulate these individuals into advancing their Khalistan-related goals within the Canadian territory, the report stated.
Sources further told News18 that Sikhs from Italy, Germany, USA and UK have gathered in Vancouver for another Khalistani show. “This time their ring master is Amritbir Singh Cheema,” a source added.
Jalandhar-origin gangster Cheema is wanted in many cases in Punjab. He has applied for asylum in Canada where he has been living since 2015.
Sources said the group is using radio to radicalise people. “They have hired a radio station named Radio Punjab Vancouver for a daily two-hour show to radicalise people. It's interesting to note that callers are also not locals from Canada. The calls are coming from California, which means local Canadians are hardly interested,” an official told News18.
Canadian federal police announced Friday the arrests of two Ontario men for allegedly creating recruitment videos and statements in support of a far-right group banned as a terrorist organization.
The pair, who were not identified by police, face a total of nine charges including committing hate crimes, participating in a terrorist group's activities and instructing others to carry out terrorist activities.
The arrests come after an 18-month investigation that included police searches in the Niagara and Toronto regions and help from Canada's spy agency and anti-money laundering watchdog, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)'s counterterrorism squad said in a statement.
The two men “are alleged to have participated in the creation of Terrorgram Collective manifestos and Atomwaffen Division recruiting videos in support of far right extremism and the neo-Nazi terrorist movement,” the RCMP said.
The Atomwaffen Division, which originated in the United States but has spread to Britain, Germany and elsewhere, was listed as a terrorist entity in Canada in 2021.
Since then, several former members, under a new affiliation, were “observed performing combat training exercises in local community parks,” police said.
The neo-Nazi extremist group calls for violence against racial, religious, and ethnic groups, police, and bureaucrats in order to provoke the collapse of society.
Canada started targeting far-right groups with sanctions for promoting violent extremist views following a spate of attacks including the killing of worshippers at a Quebec City mosque.
The RCMP in July charged a 26-year-old Ottawa man for also making propaganda material for the Atomwaffen Division.
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Canada Raises Cost-of-Living Threshold to over $20
Canada introduced significant reforms to Canada's study permit requirements this week in order to strengthen the financial preparedness of international students, according to a release by the Canadian ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, led by minister Marc Miller.
The changes include a sizable increase in the cost-of-living financial requirement for study permit applicants. The changes will take effect from January 1, 2024.
“We are revising the cost-of-living threshold so that international students understand the true cost of living here. This measure is key to their success in Canada. We are also exploring options to ensure that students find adequate housing. These long-overdue changes will protect international students from financially vulnerable situations and exploitation,” Miller was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Canada is now raising the threshold to $20,635 from the previous $10,000 which has been the cost-of-living requirement since early 2000s owing to the evolving cost-of-living. The threshold represents 75% of the low-income cut-off (LICO). This adjustment will ensure international students are adequately prepared for the financial demands of life in Canada.
This will also address issues like finding suitable housing and is part of governmental reforms committed to protect students from financial vulnerability and exploitation.
Canada in October introduced reforms to the International Student Programme bringing in a new framework to recognise learning institutions providing top-quality services and support, including housing. The new rules ask institutions to accept only the number of students they can adequately support.
Miller also shared updates on three temporary policies affecting international students which also included the extension of the waiver on the 20-hour-per-week limit for off-campus work until April 30, 2024 and continuation of a provision that allows counting of online study time as valid when it comes to post-graduation work permit eligibility.
“While recognising the significant benefits international students bring to Canada socially, culturally, and economically, the government emphasises the need to address challenges that have made some students vulnerable. The revised cost-of-living threshold is seen as a crucial step to ensure the success and well-being of international students in Canada,” the release further added.
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Christine Sinclair Retires From Canadian National Football Team After 23-Year Career
Christine Sinclair, the world's top international goal scorer among both women and men, played her final match with the Canadian national team on Tuesday night.
Sinclair, 40, ended her 23-year national team career with a 1-0 victory against Australia at Vancouver's BC Place — renamed Christine Sinclair Place for the occasion.
Sinclair has scored 190 goals since she made her national team debut in 2000. Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, the game's top scorer among men, has 128 international goals.
It was Sinclair's 331st appearance for Canada, second only in international soccer to retired U.S. star Kristine Lilly, who played in 354 games.
“To see the growth of the game, see where it's at now, and the opportunities that are available, whether it's in the national team or playing pro. Honestly I never thought in my career that this was going to happen. And I just feel fortunate to be a part of that growth and it's incredible to experience the change,” she said before the match.
More than 45,000 fans were on hand for the game. In addition to Sinclair, the team also honored midfielder Sophie Schmidt, who played in her final game after a 19-year national team career, and former goalkeeper Erin McLeod, who retired in January.
“Tonight, the world's greatest goalscorer — Christine Sinclair — is stepping onto the pitch with Team Canada for the last time. @Sincy 12, thank you for inspiring all of us. Your impact on the game, and on sports in Canada, is something we'll be celebrating for quite some time,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posted to social media.
When Sinclair was subbed out in the second half, Schmidt took her place on the field after an emotional embrace.
With Sinclair, Canada won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. She won bronze medals at both the 2012 and 2016 Games.
Sinclair is also among just five players to appear in six Women's World Cups, and one of just three players to score in five. But a World Cup trophy eluded her.
She was asked what advice she would give young players looking at a career in soccer.
“All the players on the national team, we were once that young kid that had aspirations and dreams of playing professionally, and representing Canada at World Cups and Olympics,” Sinclair said. “There's no secret. It's a lot of work but man it's the best job in the world. Just go for it. Anything's possible.”
Sinclair plans to play one more season for her club team, the Portland Thorns in the National Women's Soccer League.
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India Thrash Canada 12-0 in FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup 2023 Opener
The Indian Junior Women's Hockey Team made a resounding start to their FIH Hockey Women's Junior World Cup 2023 campaign by securing a commanding 12-0 victory against Canada in their opening match of the tournament held in Santiago, Chile, on Wednesday.
Annu (4', 6′, 39'), Dipi Monika Toppo (21'), Mumtaz Khan (26', 41', 54', 60'), Deepika Soreng (34', 50', 54'), and Neelam (45') were the goalscorers for India.
India began the match with an attacking approach, consistently pressuring Canada and swiftly securing an early advantage as Annu (4', 6′) scored two early goals through penalty corners. Despite taking a two-goal lead, India persisted in their aggressive style, maintaining pressure on Canada, however, they were unable to find more goals in the opening quarter as it ended 2-0 in their favour.
The momentum from the first quarter carried into the second for India, which sustained their dominance. They maintained possession, consistently penetrating the circle, resulting in Dipi Monika Toppo (21′) and Mumtaz Khan (26′) netting a field goal each, further extending India's lead. In the meantime, Canada won a penalty corner but they were unable to make the most of it. As the second quarter concluded, the Indian team maintained a commanding 4-0 lead.
Despite having a healthy lead, the Indian team showed no signs of slowing down in the third quarter and continued to dominate the proceedings with Deepika Soreng (34′) converting a penalty corner, following which Annu (39′) completed her hat-trick, while Mumtaz Khan (41′) scored her second goal of the match. Also, Neelam (45′) smashed home her shot from a penalty corner to make it 8-0 for India by the end of the penultimate quarter.
The Indian team's hunger for goals persisted into the fourth quarter, resulting in strikes by Deepika Soreng (50′, 54′) and Mumtaz Khan (54′, 60') which not only saw both players complete their hat-tricks but also India winning the game 12-0.
India will next lock horns with Germany in their second match of the tournament on 1st December at 01:00hrs IST.
The matches will be broadcast on Viacom Sports 18 – 3 and Sports 18 – 1 HD, as well as live-streamed on JioCinema.
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Why aren’t dal prices dropping
After vegetables and cereals, it’s the turn of pulses now. Prices of commonly used dals are soaring. But unlike other food crops, taming pulse prices is harder, as India is both the largest producer and consumer. Mint explains the background and lists the options:
How have retail prices moved?
Consumers in India use a whole variety of pulses, including tur (pigeon pea), masoor (lentils), chana (gram), urad (black gram), and moong (green gram) as a staple. The most recent data from the consumer affairs department shows that except for lentils, the year-on-year price rise in other varieties ranges from 19% for gram to 41% for tur. In some major cities the price rise is more pronounced. For instance, retail tur prices in Delhi have shot up by about 50% to ₹173 per kg now compared with ₹118 last year. The price rise is worrying as pulses are an important source of protein for many families.
Why are prices rising sharply?
Data from the agriculture ministry shows that the area under rain-fed kharif pulses this year was 11.5% less than the five-year average. This means production is likely to drop to 7.12 million tonnes as per the first advance estimates released late last month, compared with 8.16 million tonnes last year, and the previous best of 9.6 million tonnes in 2016-17. Production was also impacted by below-normal rains in major growing states such as Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Worryingly, planting of winter grown pulses is also lagging year-on-year—by as much as 12% for gram—as of 24 November.
Why aren?t farmers growing more pulses?
Pulses are mostly grown on marginal land, with little or no access to irrigation. Some varieties like tur are low-yielding, long duration crops. As access to irrigation improved, farmers switched to high-yielding cereals that come with guaranteed price support. An open import policy which kept prices low in the past also led to farmers losing interest.
Source: Live Mint
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Canada's PM to Participate in India-Led Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit Published 3 minutes ago
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to take part in the virtual G20 leaders' summit hosted by India on Wednesday. Trudeau's participation was confirmed through the public schedule of the Canadian Prime Minister. The summit will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who announced it during the closing session of the New Delhi G20 Summit on September 10.
Leaders of all G20 Members including the Chair of the African Union, as well as nine Guest countries, and Heads of 11 International Organizations, have been invited. The participation of world leaders, including Chinese Premier Li Qiang and Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been confirmed.
Trudeau's attendance at the virtual summit is notable as the India-Canada has deteriorated since September when the Canadian PM alleged the involvement of a “foreign agent” in the killing of Khalistan separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India strongly denied the allegations and asked Canada to furnish proof. New Delhi has also asked Ottawa to curb Khalistani elements in the country and ensure security for the Indian diplomatic missions.
This Virtual Summit will be the second time PM Modi will be hosting the leaders of the G20 within a span of just over two and a half months. “This is something very rare and rather exceptional. No other presidency has had a physical meeting of all the leaders and then a virtual meeting,” G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant said during a special press briefing on Tuesday.
The Virtual Summit of the G20 will also be a major gathering of world leaders since the conclusion of the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly High-Level Week and the SDG Summit. It will be held from 5:30 pm onwards under the chairmanship of PM Modi.
When asked about Trudeau's participation during the Tuesday presser, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said India expects a large majority of leaders to participate in the discussions as has been the case even in the Summit in September, where “a very high-quality participation” from the world leaders at the physical Summit.” “We don't expect tomorrow's Summit to be any different in so far as that is concerned,” he added.
Throughout its G20 presidency, Kant said India has worked to ensure that the concerns of the Global South receive due cognizance. “We've also seen the inclusion of the African Union as a permanent member of G20. Since our successful hosting of the G20 Leaders' Summit on 9th and 10th September and the unanimous adoption of the New Delhi Leaders' Declaration, the world has actually witnessed a succession of events and several new challenges have emerged,” he added.
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Canada Beat Italy to Win Billie Jean King Cup for First Time
Leylah Fernandez and Marina Stakusic won their singles matches as Canada beat Italy 2-0 to claim its first-ever Billie Jean King Cup on Sunday.
Stakusic, ranked 258th in the world, put Canada ahead by defeating No. 43 Martina Trevisan 7-5, 6-3 for the biggest win of her career, then Fernandez sealed the victory by beating Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-3 at La Cartuja Stadium.
“We took a risk by selecting a young player, and it paid off,” said Canada's coach Nathalie Tauziat.
Follow all the action from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 including the World Cup schedule, World Cup 2023 results, and ICC Cricket World Cup points table. Players are vying to top the World Cup 2023 Most Runs and World Cup 2023 Most Wickets charts.
The 20th-ranked Fernandez, runner-up in the 2021 U.S. Open, was perfect for Canada in Seville with four victories, while the 18-year-old Stakusic entered the tournament without a win over a top 100 opponent but earned three of them while representing her nation in Spain.
“I'm extremely happy, ecstatic,” said Fernandez.
Canada had beaten 11-time champion Czech Republic in the semifinals, while four-time champion Italy advanced past Slovenia for its first final appearance since 2013.
The 12-team BJK Cup Finals offered a record total of $9.6 million in prize money, including $2.4 million to the champions, the same as the men's Davis Cup.
Canada, captained by Heidi El Tabakh, is the 13th nation to win the Billie Jean King Cup, and the second new champion after Switzerland's triumph in Glasgow a year ago.
“Leylah played her role as leader and that made all the difference,” said Tauziat. “She prepares like a boxer, ready to enter the ring, to receive blows and to give them.”
The Canada men's team is the current Davis Cup champion.
The women's teams competed in four round-robin groups, with the winners advancing to the semifinals. The United States was eliminated by the Czech Republic in a group that also included title-holder Switzerland.
The biggest team competition in women's tennis started two days after the end of the WTA Finals in Cancun, Mexico, which featured the top eight players on the tour — including winner Iga Swiatek.
“You know, it's the first time that Canada has ever won the Billie Jean King Cup. I can finally say this — we're world champions, and we rightfully deserve it,” she said.
“We worked really hard the past years, and, you know, I think every year, as I said before, we just keep improving.”
“It's showing on the tennis court. It's showing in competition, individual competitions. Now it has shown on the biggest stage in the world.”
Italy continued their 10-year drought in the competition, known as the Fed Cup until 2020, having won the last of their four titles in 2013.
“It's been a very tough week for me, mentally and of course physically,” said Trevisan.
“We spent a lot of energy on court and of course out of the court. Maybe today my physical energy was, well, a little bit low.
“I'm a player that need to be very fast on court, and today I wasn't too much — it wasn't enough.”
(With inputs from Agencies)
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Nazi Hakenkreuz Isn’t Swastika
Indian-origin Canadian member of the parliament Chandra Arya told Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and leader of opposition Pierre Poilievre that Hindus feel restricted while using the ‘swastika' symbol because it is wrongly mistaken as the Nazi Hakenkreuz.
“I again call on Justin Trudeau and Pierre Poilievre and everyone not to call the Nazi symbol of hatred Hakenkreuz as Swastika,” Chandra Arya said in a post on social media site X.
Arya, who represents the constituency of Nepean in the House of Commons of Canada, reiterated his message from last year where he highlighted the issues faced by Hindus living in Canada when the hakenkreuz and swastika were compared.
“Please stop calling the Nazi symbol of hatred as Swastika. We support the ban of the Nazi symbol of hatred Hakenkreuz or the hooked cross. But calling it Swastika is to deny us Hindu-Canadians our religious right and freedom to use our sacred symbol Swastika in our daily life,” Arya told in his post, addressed to Canadian speaker of the House of Commons Greg Fergus.
“On behalf of over one million Canadians of several religious faiths and in particular Hindu-Canadians and as a Hindu-Canadian myself, I call upon members of this house and all Canadians to distinguish between the Hindu religious sacred symbol Swastika and the Nazi symbol of hatred called Hakenkreuz in German or the hooked cross in English,” Arya said.
Arya's plea last year was welcomed by Hindu groups in North America who say that the swastika, that symbolises auspicious beginnings and good luck, has been mistaken for the hakenkreuz and has led to wrong assumptions about Hinduism and its believers.
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India abstains from UN vote on Israel-Gaza conflict
India recently chose to abstain from a UN General Assembly vote that sought a humanitarian truce and the protection of civilians amid the intensifying conflict between Israel and Gaza, drawing significant domestic scrutiny. Here's a breakdown of India's decision and its implications -
What did the UN resolution say?
The UN General Assembly's resolution called for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities", especially given that the death toll in Gaza has reportedly surpassed 8,000, due to Israel's ongoing airstrike campaign. The conflict escalated following Hamas' attacks in Israel on 7 October, leading Israel to launch a ground offensive into Gaza. The resolution also emphasized adherence to international humanitarian laws and the protection of civilians, along with the release of hostages. Notably, a Canadian amendment condemning Hamas for its attacks failed to secure approval.
How did the countries vote?
Of the nations that participated, 120, including major powers such as France, China, and Russia, supported the resolution. Forty five countries, including India, Japan, and Germany, abstained. Only 14 nations, which included the US, the UK, Canada, and Israel, voted against. India, however, did endorse Canada's unsuccessful amendment, condemning Hamas, with support from countries like the US, UK, France, and Germany. China opposed the Canadian amendment.
What was India?s stand?
“Terrorism is a malignancy and knows no borders, nationality, or race. The world should not buy into any justification of terror acts," Yojna Patel, India's deputy permanent representative to the UN, said in the Explanation of Vote. Analysts speculate that India's abstention may have been influenced by the omission of condemnation for Hamas' attacks. India, however, did not ignore the human costs, with Patel noting the grave and increasing concern about casualties in Gaza, particularly among civilians, women, and children. Patel reaffirmed India's support for a two-state resolution for the Israel-Palestine issue.
How does this impact India?s bilateral relationships?
While India's decision has not drawn substantial diplomatic responses, it has stirred some national debate. Some experts perceive India's abstention as aligning with its recent diplomatic inclination towards Israel. Despite this, India has extended aid to Palestine and its insistence on adhering to humanitarian laws indicates its sensitivity to Palestinian issues. The impact of this decision on bilateral relations remains to be seen, but past Indian votes that favored Israel at the UN did not negatively impact relationships.
What happens now?
The passage of the resolution is an important political signal but carries no real prospect of pushing Israel to cease its air and ground operations in Gaza. “It is the duty of this body to call out murderous terrorists by name, not hide them behind empty words. Why are you defending murderers?" said Gilad Ergan, Israel's Ambassador to the UN. With a stated aim of wiping out Hamas, Israel's armed forces are unlikely to cease their military operations in the near future.
Source: Live Mint
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Justifying India's move to pressure Canada to downsize its diplomatic presence in New Delhi, EAM S Jaishankar on Sunday said there was interference by Canadian personnel in the country's internal affairs adding that India does not approve of certain segments of Canadian politics.
“Parity is very much provided for by the Vienna Convention, which is the relevant international rule on this. In our case, we invoked parity because we had concerns about continuous interference in our affairs by Canadian personnel,” Jaishankar said.
The External Affairs Minister also said that the India-Canada relations are “going through a difficult phase.”
This comes after Canada announced that 41 of its diplomats in India have departed, a day before the deadline set by New Delhi for their withdrawal, failing which they were liable to lose diplomatic immunity.
Later, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the Indian government's crackdown on Canadian diplomats was making normal life difficult for millions of people in both countries.
The external affairs minister also said that India is likely to resume the issuance of visas to Canadian citizens if it sees progress in the safety of Indian diplomats in Canada.
“If we see progress in the safety of our diplomats in Canada, we would like to resume issuance of visas there,” Jaishankar said at an event while replying to a question on India-Canada ties.
India in September announced the temporary suspension of the issuance of visas to Canadian citizens and asked Ottawa to downsize its diplomatic presence in the country after Trudeau alleged a “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
(With PTI inputs)
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