Day after explosive allegation, Trudeau

Canadian Sikh leader was killed in B.C. in June.
1 week before September 19, 2023 at 14:23 Author: Editors Desk Source: CBC News:
Ethan Cairns/The Canadian Press
Ethan Cairns/The Canadian Press

Ever since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made his bombshell allegation that Canada has "credible intelligence" linking agents of the Indian government to the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil, questions have been gathering about what, if any, protections were offered to Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

The Sikh leader was shot dead outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, B.C., on June 18 and reportedly had been warned by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service that he was at risk.

Nijjar, a supporter of a Sikh homeland in the form of an independent Khalistani state, had been branded a "terrorist" by the Indian government and accused of leading a militant separatist group — something his supporters have denied.

According to reporting by Global News, Nijjar's friends said CSIS had told him it had information that he was "under threat from professional assassins."

Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc deferred questions about personal protection arrangements to the RCMP.

"The individual decisions by law enforcement agencies around who receives police protection are made by police officials, not by ministers," he told reporters after leaving a cabinet meeting Tuesday.

"I have every confidence in the RCMP."

Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc says he has 'confidence' in the RCMP's ability to protect Canadians after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India's government of being involved in the killing of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, B.C.

The RCMP has not yet responded to questions about whether Nijjar was provided with any security.

Mukhbir Singh of the World Sikh Organization called on the Canadian government to better protect the community.

"There have been a number of cases where officials have warned them that there was a threat to their life," he told a news conference Tuesday.

Singh said he hopes the recently announced public inquiry into foreign election interference will also look at protecting diaspora communities.

"When we look into foreign interference and the role of that in Canada, it goes hand-in-hand at looking at the physical protection that is needed for certain Canadians here," he said.

WATCH | Canadians have a 'right to know' about allegations linking India to killing of Sikh leader


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is not looking to 'provoke or escalate' after he said in the House of Commons there were credible allegations linking India to the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian who backed the creation of a Sikh homeland in India.

Dick Fadden, former director of CSIS and a former national security adviser to two prime ministers, said the Canadian government needs to get better at protecting at-risk communities.

"Have they done enough? I personally don't think they have done enough. The Sikh community certainly don't think they've done enough," he said. 

"I think we may have to be more aggressive in Canada in monitoring representatives of other states and various communities to make sure that we can offer them protection. Because if a state can't do that and protect its own citizens, there's a fundamental issue."

Trudeau sent shock waves around the world when he stood in the House of Commons on Monday and accused the Indian government of playing a role in the brazen killing of Nijjar.

"We are not looking to provoke or escalate. We are simply laying out the facts as we understand them," Trudeau told reporters Tuesday before a cabinet meeting.

"The government of India needs to take this matter with the utmost seriousness."


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