Chair Canada-India Interparliamentary Friendship Group: Will Use Group as Vehicle to Improve Canada-India Relations

“My goal as chair is to facilitate greater understanding and improved relations between Canada and India and their people,” . “We need to build upon the strong historical ties between our two countries to secure a long-term positive political and economic relationship.”

“There is the potential for a promising relationship between Canada and India – we share a common colonial history; a commitment to democratic values, federalism and multiculturalism; and an international agenda of peace and security. With over one million Canadians of Indian origin, they are becoming an increasingly more significant part of Canadian society. Indians have strengthened the multicultural fabric of Canada, actively participating in the social, cultural, economic, and political development of the country.”

“Decisions of our current Liberal government have weakened bilateral relations with India. After India’s 1998 nuclear tests, the Liberals rapidly voiced their condemnation, placed political relations with India on hold, and imposed several measures on India to demonstrate strong disapproval of the tests. While I successfully lobbied for the restoration of diplomatic relations and the removal of sanctions, Canada had already become almost irrelevant to Indian foreign policy.”

“We need to bridge the gap between Canada and India and enable a true friendship to blossom into reality. I envision the Canada-India Interparliamentary Friendship Group as an important vehicle for accomplishing this goal,”.