Citing weak Canadian presence, Canada fires Indian employees | News from India

NEW DELHI: Canada fired dozens of Indian employees from its diplomatic missions in India, apparently due to the reduction in Canadian personnel available to “effectively manage and maintain operations in the country”. Last year, India expelled 41 Canadian diplomats to ensure parity in diplomatic presence, after which Canada ended in-person operations at its consulates in Mumbai, Chandigarh and Bengaluru.
There has been no official figure on the number of employees made redundant but it apparently does not exceed 100. Confirming the “staff reductions“, a media relations official at the high commission said the move was unfortunately necessary given the departure of Canadian staff last year.
“We would like to express our sincere gratitude for the resilience, dedication and service of our local staff in India. Canada will continue to provide basic services to Canadians in India, including consular support and for trade and business development – ​​so that the citizens of our two countries can continue to benefit from the long-standing ties between Canadians and Indians,” the official said, adding that Canada visa application centers in India are operating normally.”
Despite these strained ties, Canada has maintained strong ties with Indian citizens and will continue to welcome them, whether they come to visit, work, study or live permanently in the country. India did not expect Canada to close its services in the consulates as its decision to expel the diplomats was only to seek parity in diplomatic representations only in the respective high commissions in Delhi and Ottawa .
India had expelled the diplomats after a diplomatic row with Canada stemming from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations that Indian government officials were involved in the killing of Khalistan leader Hardeep Nijjar in the Vancouver area. The Indian government has accused the diplomats of interfering in India’s internal affairs.
Trudeau raised the issue of Nijjar again on Wednesday, when he appeared before a committee investigating allegations of foreign interference in Canadian allegations, saying his government remained committed to protecting the freedoms of Canadians. While answering questions about how his government handled alleged foreign interference, Trudeau also accused the previous Conservative government of having a “very warm relationship with the current Indian government.”
“The principle that anyone coming to Canada from anywhere in the world has every right of a Canadian to be free from extortion, coercion and interference from a country that ‘he left behind…and the way we stood up for Canadians, including in the very serious case I brought to Parliament regarding the murder of Nijjar, demonstrating our government’s commitment to defending the rights and freedoms of Canadians for whom so many have crossed oceans and continents,” he said.

Robert Butler

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