Premier Christy Clark Celebrates Sikh Contributions While Her Government Continues To Allow And Support Racism Against Indo-Canadian Veterinarians!

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Sikhs’ Contributions To World War Effort Celebrated At Legislature

“With Remembrance Day two weeks away, this is a meaningful time to  commemorate our history – and better understand how we got to today,” said Premier Christy Clark, who was celebrating the Sikhs’ history while her government allow and support the systemic racism against Indo-Canadian Veterinarians even after they have won a big Human Rights Tribunal victory.

See story @ https://thelinkpaper.ca/?p=50602

By R. Paul Dhillon

VICTORIA – The Sikh-Canadian contribution to the province’s and the  country’s shared history will be on permanent display in the B.C.  legislature following BC government’s announcement Wednesday that an historically symbolic flag would be installed inside the Parliament  Buildings.

The 1874 version of the Red Ensign flag is one of the first Canadian flags to display the emblem of British Columbia after the province joined  Confederation in 1871. The flag was in honour of the contributions made to British Columbia, Canada, and the British Crown by the Punjabi community.

It is dedicated to Kesur Singh, a Risaldar Major Captain in the British Indian Army who arrived in B.C. as one of Canada’s first Sikh immigrants.  It is the version of the Canadian flag that would have flown over government buildings when he arrived.

“With Remembrance Day two weeks away, this is a meaningful time to  commemorate our history – and better understand how we got to today,” said Premier Christy Clark, who was celebrating the Sikhs’ history while her government allow and support the systemic racism against Indo-Canadian Veterinarians even after they have won a big Human Rights Tribunal victory.  See story @ https://thelinkpaper.ca/?p=50602

“The prosperous, free, and multicultural province we’re so fortunate to call home was built through the hard work and  sacrifice of people who came from halfway around the world in search of a  better life,” Clark added

Many early Sikh pioneers were veterans of colonial Punjabi regiments that had served the Crown since 1849, when Punjab became part of the British Empire.

Members of Surrey-based 3300 British Columbia Regiment (Bhai Kanhaiya) Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, along with leaders from B.C.’s Sikh communities, also joined the ceremonies.

The Sikhs came to Canada looking for a better life, but faced difficult conditions. In 1914, the Komagata Maru ship carrying 376 passengers from India was turned away from the port in Vancouver. In 2008, the B.C. Legislature formal apologized for the incident.

During the First World War Punjabi-Sikh soldiers were fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with Canadians. They suffered enormous losses – and in death, 100 years after the war, they lie beside their Canadian brothers-in-arms in 17 cemeteries scattered across French and Belgian Flanders.

“This centennial is an opportunity to commemorate those who lost their lives, but also to engage today’s youth and diverse communities about the significance of the sacrifices that were made,” said Steve Purewal, an ex-Brit who has chronicled Sikh war history. “During WWI, nearly 500,000 Punjabis fought in a joint cause with Canada, despite the discriminatory conditions prevailing at the time — their service and notion of duty was truly remarkable.”

The history and contributions of the South Asian communities to B.C. are part of the province’s new K-12 curriculum being phased in over the next three years.

“We’re not just talking about history, we’re talking about today,” said Premier Clark. “B.C. is a place where we recognize and embrace the contributions of all diverse communities, including South Asians, including First Nations, including Europeans – and celebrate the new generation moving forward.”

Quick Facts:

* B.C. is the most ethnically diverse province in Canada and welcomes nearly 40,000 new immigrants every year.

* Sikhs are the largest South Asian ethnic group in Canada.

* Established in 2013, the 3300 RCACC is the first cadet corps in Canada to embrace the Sikh culture and contribution to Canada’s military history as part of their corps identity.

* One-quarter of the people in B.C. are self-identified visible minorities.

* Since 1990, B.C.’s Multicultural Advisory Council has promoted cross-cultural understanding and supports the British Columbia Multicultural Awards.