Huffington Post – Sikh front-line workers make enough sacrifices. Their beards shouldn’t be one.

Religiously worn beards have been subtly framed as an obstacle to the safety of COVID-19 patients.

Harman Singh

Op/Ed, 27 May 2020. When the COVID-19 pandemic started, the Sikh community did what we always do. We mobilized. We served free communal meals in the tradition of langar, we provided aid, we even offered up our own spaces for the benefit of public health.

This is the practice of “Sikh seva, or selfless service,” in action. Canada is familiar with this type of mobilization from its Sikh community. It is widely recognized and respected, perhaps even expected.

This history of Sikhs serving our nation makes it even harder to watch Canadians praise the erasure of an important facet of the Sikh faith. The Sikh religious practice of keeping kesh means that hair or beards must be kept uncut.

It has long been suggested that masks required for medical staff, including the popular N95 model, do not fit bearded individuals. This has been repeated in news coverage of the pandemic, subtly framing the Sikh religious practice of keeping kesh (unshorn hair and beards) as an obstacle to saving lives.

One such example is the story of a Sikh doctor in Montreal who made the personal choice to shave his beard, which must be kept uncut in accordance with his Sikh faith, to wear a face mask required for work with COVID-19 patients.

While the Sikh community decried this as an example of the state failing to provide front-line workers with appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment), media paraded Dr Sanjeet Singh Saluja’s choice as a “sacrifice.”

But he never should have had to make the choice between keeping his faith and serving fellow Canadians.

Focusing on beards as a problem forces a spotlight on Sikh health-care workers. Praising the shaving of Sikh beards draws on the “model minority” label to pressure Sikhs into conforming to Western ideals of what is deemed normal. The discrimination in this should not be understated.

This harmful perception overlooks the fact that there are Sikh health-care workers who have passed “fit tests” wearing masks with beards, and ignores that other factors can determine the fit of a mask, such as the shape of one’s face.

Nevertheless, if a beard is an issue when it comes to medical masks, technology provides answers. Our own Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan has led changes in this area, having invented a gas mask compatible with beards.

I myself benefited from this innovation over three years of service with the Canadian Armed Reserve Forces as a combat engineer.

In the medical world, any bearded doctors that have issues with masks are usually directed towards using a powered air-purifying respirator, which is readily available online.

Why his employer was unable to help Dr Saluja acquire one, I do not know, especially when groups like the World Sikh Organization of Canada have been helping Sikh doctors source such equipment.

Support for Sikh health-care workers like Dr Saluja is available. What I do know is that the resulting public relations campaign and YouTube videos glamorizing his decision reveal large sections of Canada are still ignorant about the Sikh faith.

Educating Canadians about kesh

When non-Sikhs ask us about our faith, their questions most commonly concern Dastaar (Sikh turbans) and our unshorn beards. Some of our most recognized names have even gone out of their way to educate Canadians on the subject.

It is important for all Canadians to remember that it is not the job of every Sikh to explain why kesh is so important in our faith, however, as an educator of the Sikh faith, it literally is mine. So let me try.

Kesh is the insignia of the Sikh. Sure, not everyone that identifies as Sikh maintains unshorn hair. However, it should be understood by all that at some point on the path of Sikhi, keeping kesh is mandatory.

For a Sikh, refraining from cutting hair is submission to our most natural state of being, a connection to the divinity of creation. Kesh is the most visible part of the Sikh uniform, which bestows upon us an inescapable responsibility to live up to Sikh ideals.

That is part of what drives the community into the incredible acts of seva we see across the world. I cannot stand by and allow such a key aspect of the Sikh faith to be reduced to some aesthetic decision.

Kesh is so important in the faith that there are countless stories of Sikhs choosing death before having hair removed. The tale of Bhai Taru Singh comes to mind.

This revered Sikh figure was serving langar to his community at a time when it was outlawed by the tyrannical Mughal in charge at the time. He was caught and sentenced to having his hair cut off. Bhai Taru Singh prayed that he would not be separated from his kesh.

As the story goes, the punisher found it impossible to cut his hair, and had to scalp Bhai Taru Singh instead, a fate he readily chose before losing his sacred kesh.

My emphasis on the importance of kesh is not to judge Dr Saluja’s decision. But as an educator on the Sikh faith, I cannot stand by and allow such a key aspect of the Sikh faith to be reduced to some aesthetic decision playing second fiddle to selfless service.

It is an insult to the faith to suggest that Dr. Saluja’s actions fit with Sikhi’s deep-rooted teachings around social reform, especially whilst Canadian health-care workers of all backgrounds are being forced to risk their lives due to a lack of investment in PPE.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji showed the importance of challenging governments that discriminate against minorities, rather than asking minorities to conform to avoid problems. This trend was carried on by all the Sikh Gurus, because they recognized that, just like the process of growing a beard, equality requires long-term discipline and cultivation.

Despite inferences to the opposite, the Sikh spirit of seva is not separate from the physical identity of a Sikh. It is this identity which means that a Sikh cannot hide from also standing up for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, or Canada’s indigenous community, or any marginalized people, just like Canadian Sikhs will now support health-care workers’ rights in obtaining appropriate PPE.

It is this spirit of justice and service that will benefit Canada more than any short-term “sacrifice” which covers up bigger issues of governance. Canada must embrace the Sikh faith, hairs and all.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/sikh-front-line-workers-make-enough-sacrifices-their-beards-shouldnt-be-one_n_5ece6717c5b691b74ddc314a?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cDovL2MubmV3c25vdy5jby51ay9BLzEwMzMyMDY1OTY_LTI4MjE6MTAzNTptb3N0X3JlYWRfdG9w&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAFNL1AVIsuBU7NWAvGwBwrLfmLaaEnJfsJuSpr-ebsxYQP-SlKuJ7-oR4wd1PPAWWtR5S8PRg1r6twAdqSdN3xE8yVntBaR67GjergNKPVPzUebXVTc6YlNs9uWDe8d1XGCDfKzT4r_pXf7rtk5PBK5c-9C1AJ3xb7TXNoX0IDPl

World Sikh Parliament to alert world leaders amid exposure of Indian intelligence operations

London – UK, 29 April 2020. The humiliating exposure this week of a long-running major Indian intelligence operation in Canada will embarrass India’s spy agencies but, according to leading Sikh organisations, this should serve as another reminder to countries across the world that host Sikh diaspora communities to beware such unscrupulous activities.

Bribing foreign government officials to toe the Indian government line, infiltrating Sikh organisations (including Gurdwara management committees), and using paid media organisations to put out propaganda has long been the modus operandi of agencies such as India’s Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB), in their unrelenting effort to counter the Sikh struggle for self-determination.

Similar methods have been used to silence the Kashmiri freedom struggle. However, a number of high-profile cases have shone a spotlight on these activities and, now that the targeting of government officials has been proven, it is time the international community took action to protect their own governmental systems as well as Sikhs residing in the affected countries.

Canadian Newspaper “Global News” has published the article by journalist Steward Bell highlighting Federal immigration proceedings in which an Indian, who has admitted he was “asked by the IB and RAW to perform various functions”.

He allegedly met Indian intelligence more than 25 times over six years, most recently in May 2015, a month after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Canada.

A Canadian official wrote to him saying “You stated that you were asked by RAW to covertly influence Canadian government representatives and agencies on behalf of the Indian government”.

The letter continues “You stated that the guidance from RAW included that you were to provide financial assistance and propaganda material to politicians in order to exert influence over them”.

The article notes that India has long sought to pressure Ottawa over the activism of Sikhs in Canada in advocating independence for India’s Sikh minority.

It also points out that, whilst the Canadian government was not providing direct comment on that specific case, the Public Safety Minister Bill Blair’s office said the government was “concerned when any country shows destabilizing behavior, including interference in other countries’ democratic systems.”

In a separate case Canada also reportedly recently banned an Ottawa company, with strong Indian links, from work related to the military or national security.

Official documents show that that Canadian officials wrote to the company’s president saying: “This investigation has determined that since approximately 2000, you have had consistent contact with the Indian High Commission in Ottawa, including elements of the Indian government involved in information and intelligence collection activities in Canada”

These cases follow closely on the heels of the conviction of two Indians by a German court earlier this year for spying on Sikh and Kashmiri groups in return for substantial payments by RAW. Further details of that case were published by the BBC.

Swaranjit Singh Khalsa, Coordinator of UN-NGO Council of World Sikh Parliament said “I have myself seen many incidents of Indian agencies interfering in America’s democratic process.

He gave examples of emails sent by Indian organizations against the raising of the Sikh national flag, efforts by the Indian Consulate in New York calling library in Norwich, Connecticut to remove a Sikh Genocide Memorial, Indian government agents emailing senators not to pass Bill in Connecticut for recognition of “Sikh Genocide Remembrance Day” and their attempts to intervene in our Gurdwaras (Sikh place of worship).

Khalsa said “Due to the unacceptable and persistent interference in Sikh affairs by Indian officials, their entry (in an official capacity) in to Gurdwaras throughout the Diaspora has been banned.” That ban hit India’s underhand activities hard.

Ranjit Singh Srai, Coordinator of Sikh Self Determination Council of World Sikh Parliament, shared the Sikh experience in United Kingdom: “There have been decades of nefarious clandestine activity of this kind by Indian agencies and their paid stooges in the UK, but these recent official cases go beyond anecdotal significance.

Aside from the more recent Canadian and German cases, a 2018 Ofcom ruling in the UK showed how blatant propaganda, against those advocating Sikh independence, by a broadcaster with strong Indian connections broke UK broadcasting rules”.

Ranjit Singh adds: “The Indian lobby has been hard at work in the UK to interfere in the UK Sikh community’s determined campaign for separate recognition and monitoring of Sikhs here as an ethnic group, for the specific purposes of relevant UK law and practice, even though India as no conceivable legitimacy to do so.

Further, India has, especially since 2018, been actively putting pressure on UK authorities to ban Sikh protests outside the Indian High Commission in London, seemingly ignorant of the fact that the right to protest is a fundamental aspect of the democratic framework in this country”.

Sikh organisations worldwide have welcomed the exposure of such Indian interference in Sikh affairs and are following up by issuing advisories to governments requesting that they take effective measures to stamp out this unprincipled and unacceptable practice.

Issued By:
Manpreet Singh
Hardyal Singh
General secretaries World Sikh Parliament

https://www.wntv.uk/world-sikh-parliament-united-kingdom-3/

Khaama Press – Canada’s defense minister spoke with Afghan NSA after deadly attack on Sikh temple [Gurdwara] in Kabul

Khaama Press

Kabul – Afghanistan, 19 April 2020. The Defense Minister of Canada Harjit Sajjan spoke with the National Security Advisor Afghanistan following the deadly attack on a Gurdwara in Kabul city.

“I spoke with Afghan National Security Advisor Dr. Mohib following the heinous attack on a Kabul Gurdwara. I’m encouraged by the steps taken to increase security for Afghan Sikhs, Hindus, and all minorities, as they work towards peace,” Mr. Sajjan said in a Twitter post.

A group of terrorists attacked the Gurdwara in Kabul city late last month, killing at least 27 people including an Indian national and wounding many others.

The offshoot of the Islamic State in Afghanistan, ISIS Khurasan, claimed responsibility for the attack.

This comes as the Hindu and Sikh communities in Jalalabad city, the provincial capital of Nangarhar, recently decided to relocate to a third country following the attack.

A source within the Sikh community in Jalalabad city had earlier told The Times of India that they predict more attacks after deadly attack on Sikh temple in Kabul city.

The source further added that the Sikh community will most likely shift the ‘Saroop’ of Guru Granth Sahib to Peshawar Gurdwara in Pakistan.

The Khaama Press News Agency is the leading and largest English news service for Afghanistan with over 3 million hits a month. Independent authors/columnists and experts are welcomed to contribute stories, opinions and editorials.

Send stories to
news@khaama.com

Canada’s defense minister spoke with Afghan NSA after deadly attack on Sikh temple in Kabul

Sikh24.com – World leaders greet Sikhs on Vaisakhi but generate angry response from internet trolls

Sikh24 Editors

New York – State of New York – USA, 16 April 2020. A number of world leaders and renowned personalities greeted the Sikh Nation on Vaisakhi. Where this message was appreciated by the Sikh community worldwide, a number of internet trolls did not spare any time in promoting their own agenda, claiming that the celebrations hold no importance to the Sikhs.

Canadian Prime Minister became a special target of these pro-India trolls after his Vaisakhi message delivered in thaith (pure) Gurfateh. Justine Trudeau started his Vaisakhi message with “Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!” and appreciated the Sikh community’s contributions towards Canada during the difficult times due to COVID-19.

He said, “I wish we could be celebrating together at a Nagar Kirtan or a Gurdwara,” in a message shared on Twitter.

In response to Trudeau, Vir Sanghvi, an Indian journalist with a following of 4 million asked why so much attention was being given to the Sikh community while there are so many Hindus who also live in Canada and celebrate Vaisakhi.

Another Twitter user posted that Vaisakhi is a festival of harvest and has no historical significance to the Sikh community.

United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Adama Dieng also wished the Sikh community. “Today we should reflect on the contributions of the Sikh community in all areas of the world.”

US House of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) posted, “Vaisakhi diyan vadhaiyan! Happy Vaisakhi to everyone celebrating today.” AOC appreciated all the hard work of the Sikh community. “In this trying and uncertain times, it’s more important for all of us to apply the Sikh values of hope, universality and selfless service.”

A number of leaders from the UK political and royal affiliation also wished the Sikh community on Vaisakhi. This included the office of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn, Keir Starmer, Sadiq Khan, Prince Charles, and others.

SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal appreciated the message by the leaders of various countries for praising the Sikh community in their greeting messages on the eve of the Khalsa Sajna Diwas. Longowal said that these messages hold special importance for the Sikhs and we are so few in numbers, but get respect from major leaders across the world.

World Leaders Greet Sikhs on Vaisakhi But Generate Angry Response From Internet Trolls

The Hindustan Times – Sikh non-profit supplies necessities to public amid panic buying

The organisation, United Sikhs, has appealed to the public to avoid, “panic buying” of supplies.

Ottawa – Ontario – Canada, 23 March 2020. A Sikh non-profit has launched an emergency food bank in Canada to assist with the overwhelming demand for food, supplies and hygiene products to help those in need amid the coronavirus pandemic, it was reported.

The organisation, United Sikhs, has appealed to the public to avoid, “panic buying” of supplies, the Global Newswire said in a report.

“When the general public is asked to stock their shelves for an undetermined amount of time, they overlook a great number of families who cannot afford to do so,” said Operations Manager, Canadian Chapter, Harpreet Singh.

“For those families, United Sikhs is dedicated to making sure they receive the supplies they need.”

The food bank free supplies include canned goods, hot meals, dry goods and medicines.

In a statement, the organisation’s CEO Jagdeep Singh, saidd: “Our seniors, children and vulnerable groups with pre-existing medical conditions are suffering the most due to this pandemic.

“Those who are financially able should consider donating to United Sikhs today so this free Emergency Food Bank of life essentials can be expanded to everyone who needs it.”

Canada has so far reported 1,469 confirmed coronavirus cases with 21 fatalities.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/it-s-viral/sikh-non-profit-launches-food-bank-in-canada/story-07SGz48NTJHs5knyKruFkI.html

The Tribune – Coronavirus: NRIs visiting Punjab stay put, as do those planning to come

Deepkamal Kaur

Jalandhar – Panjab – India, It was supposed to be a spring vacation for travel freak couple Amit Taneja and Monika Taneja and their children as they were to head to New York on March 3.

As the kids’ school session had just got over, the Jalandhar-based Tanejas had planned to take them to a host of tourist sites and catch up with their extended family settled in the USA during the 15-day break. But the entire plan went haywire in the wake of panic over the spread of corona-virus.

“I feel it was a wise decision. There is no point travelling amid so much scare,” says Amit. All his NRI relatives, too, have shelved their plans to come to India, “My Surrey-based uncle, who had his flight booked for 26 March, has got it cancelled.

My Vancouver-based cousin, who was to be here for a wedding, is skipping it. Another friend, who was in Kapurthala and was to leave after construction of his house, advanced his tickets to New York by 22 days.”

More than the Indian tourists, it is the NRIs who are affected. Currently at their native places in Doaba region of Punjab, there are many who have chosen to extend their stay here.

Though most of them hail from the US, UK and Canada, they said they were avoiding travel as they were scared of catching the respiratory infection from other tourists at the airport.

Tara Singh Gosal, a Calgary-based NRI, said, “As many as 15 persons from my family are at our native home in Nawanshahr. We were to return on 02 March but we cancelled our flights as everyone advised us to take precaution. Everyone’s work is getting affected, but we have no choice. We will leave only after the virus threat subsides.”

Kulwant Singh Mahal and wife Bhagwinder Kaur, who are currently at their native Kot Fatuhi village of Mahilpur (Hoshiarpur) and were to go back to Milpitas city in California, have deferred their plans to return. “We will now go only after the Covid-19 threat goes off.”

Now that they are stuck here, NRIs are staying away from crowded places and gatherings in Punjab too. Most elderly NRIs have especially chosen to put off their travel for a longer period because they have been warned that aged people with a chronic history of diabetes, heart problems, high BP and compromised immunity are more prone to the infection.

They are also sceptical about quarantine policies upon arrival, which could lead to their isolation and confinement for 14 days at hospitals. There are monetary issues involved as well, as some of them have got refunds from airlines upon cancellation but many have been denied. Also, all direct flights have become very expensive.

Academicians put brakes

Several international conferences are being postponed. Professor Lakhwinder Pal Singh from Dr B R Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, said he had been invited to Dubai for a conference where he was to receive an award, besides presenting a paper and chairing a session.

But he received a communication that the conference had been cancelled and it would now be held on virtual mode. “They sent me the award by mail asking me to send soft copies of Power Point presentations which would be shown in an e-conference.”

Another professor from the same institute who was to go to Bangkok for a conference on chemical engineering too received a cancellation notice. Director, Public Relations from Lovely Professional University, Aman Mittal said he cancelled his Europe trip last week.

Slump in tourism

For tourism and airlines companies, there has been a complete slump. Amir Hussain, director of sales and marketing, Dream Fly Vacation, said, “Our business has fallen badly with most customers either cancelling or postponing their travel plans. Our company was taking two big corporate trips, one of 195 persons to Dubai and another of 90 members to Sri Lanka.

Both have been cancelled. We had made advance payments for hotel bookings and cannot refund the money. Even though April, May and June are peak travel months, there are no fresh queries for advance bookings. People are on a wait-and-watch mode.”

Trade affected, prices up

Traders who had been importing material from China are looking for other possible sources. Amit Sehgal, president of the Phagwara Gate Electrical Goods Market Association, said, “Some dealers would earlier go to China to buy new stuff but no one is now even thinking of travelling.

Supplies from China have been curtailed. There is a spurt in the prices of electrical items as a result. The prices of LED bulbs have already shot up by 10 per cent. The prices of spare parts like pumps used in coolers and fan bearings have gone up by 20-25 per cent.”

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/coronavirus-nris-visiting-punjab-stay-put-as-do-those-planning-to-come-55548

Hindustan Times – Canada, Oz gurdwaras start free langar tiffin service for students

The 24-hour service is underway at Surrey, to be launched at Plumpton in Melbourne today

Surjit Singh

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 28 December 2019. In a noble gesture, Sikh organisations and gurdwara managements in Canada and Australia have started free packed langar service for students from India.

The service is underway at Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, Surrey, in Canada since October and students of all faiths are availing it. Special arrangements have been made to prepare food packets at the langar hall of the gurdwara so that students can carry them easily to their residence, school or place of work.

“Students, especially from Punjab, study overseas away from their families for bright future. They have to face a lot of hardships here. So, our committee has decided to help them, which is the mission of our faith,” said Hardeep Singh Nijjar, president of the managing committee of the gurdwara.

He said: “Most of these students don’t know how to make roti. Ready made dishes such as pizza or burger prove costly for them. Secondly, they are short of time to prepare meal for themselves since they have to cover long distances to attend classes and also go for work for earning money.

Sometimes, many of them sleep without food. Keeping these problems in view, free tiffins are being provided to the needy students as per their requirement.”

“These students are our future and it is our duty to help them,” said gurdwara secretary Bhupinder Singh.

The langar hall is open round the clock and students come here to collect food packets even at night after they get free from work. “We distribute around 100 food packets to students on a given day.

Not only Punjab, students from other states across India are availing this facility,” said Charanjit Singh Sujjon, caretaker of the gurdwara, who also serves food in the langar hall. “Ever since the gurdwara started this service, sangat has increased contribution for the langar,” he added.

Other gurdwaras in Canada are also planning to start this service.

This idea of serving the international students has now been adopted by Sikh bodies in Australia too, where this service will be started at Gurdwara Dal Baba Bidhi Chand Jee Khalsa Shaoni, Plumpton, in Melbourne on Sunday to commemorate the martyrdom of Chaar Sahibzaade (four sons of Guru Gobind Singh) and Mata Gujri (mother of Guru Gobind Singh).

A Sikh organisation, Sikh Volunteers, will also join the humanitarian cause on January 5, the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh.

Gurdarshan Singh, a representative at Plumpton gurdwara, said: “Considering busy study and work schedule of international students, the service has been launched with the cooperation of sangat.”

“An online system and mobile application has also been introduced to register the needy students for this service,” said Gurtej Singh, a community activist in Melbourne.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/chandigarh/canada-oz-gurdwaras-start-free-langar-tiffin-service-for-students/story-hXP43lvsYYQLMdBUBmaqEO.html

The Hindustan Times – Family of 21-yr-old Sikh woman killed in Canada’s Surrey clueless on why she was shot dead

Jatinder Mahal

Jalandhar – Panjab – India, 25 November 2019. Gurdyal Singh Matharoo, the father of Prabhleen Kaur 21, from Jalandhar who was shot dead in Canada’s Surrey where she was working after studying management, is clueless on why she was targeted and is headed to see her body one last time.

“The Canadian police have refused to share anything with us over the phone and with our relatives there. They have asked me to come to get details.

I’m hopeful of getting the go-ahead from the Canadian embassy by Tuesday morning and will be taking a flight at the earliest,” said an inconsolable Matharoo, 64, of Chitti village near Lambra in Jalandhar, where he runs a photo studio.

He freelanced as a photographer for a Punjabi daily for 15 years.

Prabhleen had gone to Canada on a student visa on November 14, 2016, and studied business management from Langara College in Vancouver. She was working at a store and lived on rent with friends in Surrey. Police suspect she was shot dead on 21 November.

The family was told about the murder at 6 am on Sunday. Her father said the Canadian police said they had locked her accommodation after the crime.

Matharoo said when Prabhleen got a full-time job this year, she started sending home money to repay the loan taken for her education. “I spent Rs 35 lakh in three years, including the Rs 15 lakh needed to send her to Canada. I borrowed the money from relatives. We still we have to repay about Rs 15 lakh,” he said.

Her mother, Manjit Kaur, had visited her twice in two years and returned in August after spending three months with her.

“She was happy and excited for she was to come home in January. The last time she came visiting was in January 2017. I would never have allowed her to go had I known she would never come back,” he said.

Prabhleen has a 10-year-old brother, Prabhjeet Singh, who studies in a Jalandhar school.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/family-of-21-yr-old-sikh-woman-killed-in-canada-s-surrey-clueless-on-why-she-was-shot-dead/story-umSpOvUUl8qtEWu6CXyGEO.html

Scroll.in – Canada: Four persons of Indian origin appointed to Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet

Among them is former law professor Anita Anand, who is the first Hindu minister in the country’s Cabinet.

Ottawa – Ontario – Canada, 21 November 2019. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed four persons of Indian origin to his 36-member Cabinet, Hindustan Times reported on Thursday. They are Navdeep Singh Bains, Harjit Singh Sajjan, Bardish Chagger, and Anita Anand, who is the first Hindu minister in the Cabinet.

While Sajjan will remain the minister of defence, Bains has been appointed the minister of innovation, science and industry. Chagger is the new minister of diversity, inclusion and youth, while Anand will lead the ministry of public services and procurement.

Anand is one of the only two new members of parliament elevated to the Cabinet along with Quebec environmentalist Steven Guilbeault, reported CBC Canada. She has taken charge at a time when the government is putting the finishing touches on a multi-billion dollar purchase of new fighter jets.

A resident of Nova Scotia, Anand has taught law at the University of Toronto, and is known as an expert in shareholder rights.

Meanwhile, Trudeau moved Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland to the ministry of intergovernmental affairs and will tasked with keeping the minority government afloat and prevent a national unity crisis, The Guardian reported.

She will also have the symbolic role of deputy prime minister. Freeland will be responsible for the government’s dealings with the country’s western provinces that have increasingly come into conflict with the prime minister’s environmental policies that they believe are harming the struggling oil and gas industry.

The former foreign minister, who is known as a skilled negotiator, will also continue overseeing the country’s relationship with the US. She has been replaced at the foreign ministry by Quebec-based international lawyer Francois-Philippe Champagne.

His appointment, along with that of Montreal’s Pablo Rodríguez as House leader, is indicative of the growing importance of Bloc Quebecois, a federal party pushing for a sovereign Quebec that is crucial to the survival of Trudeau’s minority administration.

Former Trade Minister Jim Carr will be the prime minister’s special representative to Alberta, Saskatchewan and the central province of Manitoba to ensure they have “a strong voice in Ottawa”.

https://scroll.in/latest/944417/canada-four-persons-of-indian-origin-appointed-to-justin-trudeaus-cabinet

Sikh24.com – 550th Prakash Purab: A Road will be renamed as “Guru Nanak Street” in Brampton Canada

Sikh24 Editors

Brampton – Ontario – Canada, 30 October 2019. The 550th Prakash Purab (birthday) of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji is not being celebrated in Punjab only but in all corners of the world.

The Brampton city council in Canada has unanimously decided to rename a road to Guru Nanak Street.

A regional councillor Gurpreet Singh Dhillon and city counsellor Harkirat Singh had presented this resolution for renaming the road situated in a suburb of Brampton. Peter Robertson Boulevard’s section between Dixie Road and Great Lakes will be renamed after Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

In official documents, will read the name of this road as ‘Guru Nanak Street’ or ‘Guru Nanak’.

Gurpreet Singh Dhillon told Sikh24 that Brampton is home to a large Sikh population. He added that Canada is a country with cultural diversity and people belonging to different religions, ethnicities and castes live here with unity and harmony.

Mr Dhillon further told that after the approval to get the road renamed, other initiatives would be taken to celebrate Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Prakash Purab.

550th Prakash Purab: A Road will be renamed as “Guru Nanak Street” in Brampton Canada