The Race to Replace (III): Who's in Charge and Why

di Joe Volpe del September 11, 2019

TORONTO - In a civilized democracy, the political dynamics are de rigeur structured to achieve collective goals that allow for maximum individual expression while sustaining the collective infrastructure. In other words, lots of room for individual ambition and competition.

Political parties exist to channel that “healthy competitive spirit”. Despite the rhetoric, Parties view each other as adversaries rather than enemies. The real enemy is always within one’s own ranks. That’s where one sees the machinations designed to achieve personal goals – sometimes to the exclusion of broader interests.

No party is immune. The NDP brought down Thomas Mulcair in a humiliating display of internal indi.erence towards the leader who had brought them so close to power.

The Conservative Party is legendary for the precarious position of its leaders: Clark vs Mulroney; Manning vs Mulroney; Harper vs everybody else; now Bernier, Ford and Kenny vs Scheer. Liberals are not above this. Past internal struggles over the last 50 years have seen heavyweight bouts between Turner and Trudeau 1st, Chretien vs Turner; Martin vs Chretien. Now, even Trudeau 2nd has his nemesis: the “Deputy Prime Minister from Brampton”.

Normally, one would say so what? Just another internecine, high-elbows joust. This one is different. Tom Blackwell of the National Post, on September 4, broke a story about internal divisions in the Government caucus on the eve of the elections, pointing fingers and naming names.

For those who have their ear to the ground in Canada’s expanding South-East Asian communities, the allegations that surfaced are not new.

The fact that caucus MPs and their friends in the field corroborated them is.

Blackwell’s piece – uncontested by anyone cited in the article, despite our e.orts to reach to reach out for comment – says that there is concern that Canada’s foreign relations with the vast Indian subcontinent is determined by Khalistani separatist sympathizers within Trudeau’s Cabinet.

Chief among them is Minister Nav (Singh) Bains. Bains’ family run the World Sikh Organization (WSO), a far-right organization long-reputed supporter of independence for the state of Punjab, in India’s North, an area where the demographic majority is Sikh.

Unlike most Sikhs in Canada, the WSO has long promoted, agitated in the view of some, for its independence as the state of Khalistan. It is generally accepted that the WSO views India and its Hindu majority as enemies.

Extremists associated with the group were considered responsible for the Air India 182 mid-air explosion, in June 23, 1985; 307 passengers and 22 crew members lost their lives.

The group were declared “terrorists” by then Foreign Minister, Joe Clark, in Brian Mulroney’s Conservative Government.

Former Premier and Federal Cabinet Minister, Ujjal Dosanjh, was brutally beaten by thugs associated with the group. A certain Jaspal Atwal, convicted of the attempted murder of a visiting Indian Politician was a special invitee to the Trudeau team visit to India in 2018.

The Indian government received the delegation with what is best described as icy indi.erence. Nav Bains, who is referred to as Babaji, [the religious] “leader” in Brampton, vetted the list of invitees. Bains is also the National Liberal Campaign Co-Chair. He determines whose candidacy is “green-lit” or not.

He has successfully placed his followers in key positions around the country, within the party. He has a strangle-hold on the Minister of Immigration, Ahmed Hussen, and the government’s immigration priorities: over the last four years 180,925 applicants from India have been landed in Canada – 22.5% of total immigrants, while Italians, Portuguese and Poles have been kept to less than 0.05% per annum.

Nav Bains’ detractors claim that this is part of scheme including active recruitment by his team (a claim unsubstantiated by independent tribunals), to populate the country with supporters for the impending leadership race to replace Trudeau.

His caucus colleagues refuse comment. As Tom Blackwell indicated in his column, some party supporters worry about the foreign elements influencing the upcoming elections as Hindus, presumably encouraged by political activism back home, appear determined to vote against Sikh-backed parties.

Those outside caucus reference Bains’ demand to be rewarded with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for his “delivery” of ridings in the GTHA and Lower Mainland of British Columbia in the upcoming elections.

MP Marco Mendicino, the Ontario Campaign Co-Chair, in a text message, said, “No truth to any of that. Reject as false.”

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