Punjab-origin nominees in Canada poll fray face racist slogans, attacks

Punjab-origin nominees in Canada poll fray face racist slogans, attacks
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Sukhmeet Bhasin
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 13

Punjab-origin candidates contesting the federal election are facing racial attacks in Canada.

A poster of Randeep Singh Sarai, a Liberal candidate who is running for re-election in Surrey Centre, was defaced by spray-painting a swastika, a symbol of Nazis.

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47 Punjab-origin candidates in fray for Canada polls

Sarai tweeted, “I am disappointed to see that one of my signs was defaced in Surrey Centre. This behaviour is intolerable. I deplore this anti-Semitic behaviour, I know my neighbours will join me in calling it out. Let’s move forward with kindness and constructive discussion.” In another incident, two volunteers of Sabrina Grover, a candidate of the Liberal Party from Calgary Central, were attacked during campaigning.

Offensive remarks

  • NDP leader Jagmeet Singh faced a racist remark during campaigning in Windsor

Sarai’s poster defaced

  • A poster of Randeep Singh Sarai, a Liberal candidate, defaced by spray-painting a swastika, a symbol of Nazis

Volunteers attacked

  • Two volunteers of Sabrina Grover, a candidate of the Liberal Party, attacked during campaigning

Memorial vandalised

Racial abuse is one of the major issues among the Punjabi diaspora in the election. The Punjabi community in Canada is also upset over the vandalisation of the Komagata Maru Memorial situated at Coal Harbour in Vancouver. The incident, reported on August 22, led to resentment among the diaspora.

Sabrina Grover said, “The volunteers were campaigning in an apartment building when they were approached by a man, slapped and spat on. Both my volunteers are unharmed, but shaken. This is not right, hateful interaction is unacceptable. I was born and raised in Calgary. This is my home.”

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh faced a racist remark while campaigning in Windsor, Ontario. During an event in a park, a man shouted “go back home” from a passing vehicle, while Jagmeet, who was born in Scarborough, Ontario, and raised in Windsor, continued his speech undeterred.

Later, Jagmeet said he doesn’t “focus on himself” when such things happen, but he is concerned about the growing level of hate in Canada.

Racial abuse is one of the major issues among the Punjabi diaspora in the election. The Punjabi community in Canada is also upset over the defacement of the Komagata Maru Memorial situated at Coal Harbour in Vancouver.

White paint was splattered on the wall bearing the names of the victims, white hand prints were also visible and ‘893 YK’ had been written on it.

Rachna Singh, an MLA from Surrey Timber Greens and parliamentary secretary for anti-racism initiatives, said, “during the campaign, we have seen candidates’ hoardings being vandalised with messages of hate. It’s unacceptable and cowardly.”

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