FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 19, 2023
WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party Official Opposition is questioning whether the premier will be cutting his trip short amid Canada’s tense diplomatic situation with India. Monday’s shocking revelation from the Prime Minister of Canada about the alleged involvement of the Indian government in the killing of a Canadian Sikh leader raises some serious questions about Yukon Premier Ranj Pillai’s ongoing trip to India.
Following the expulsion of at least one Indian diplomat from Canada and reciprocal expulsion of a Canadian diplomat from India, the relationship between India and Canada has reached a new low. Despite the Prime Minister’s announcement and these diplomatic expulsions, Premier Pillai posted photos of meetings with government officials from his trade mission through India.
“The premier should, at the very least, be consulting with the Government of Canada about his ongoing participation in this trade mission,” said Opposition Leader Currie Dixon. “Having a Canadian Premier meeting with a top minister in the Modi government on the same day that the Prime Minister of Canada accused the Indian government of involvement in the assassination of a Canadian citizen clearly seems inappropriate.”
Further, the territorial Liberal government needs to disclose whether it sought advice from Ottawa before embarking on this trip. Premier Pillai must share what, if any, advice was provided.
It has been widely reported that Prime Minister Trudeau raised concerns about June’s killing with Prime Minister Modi during the G20 summit in Delhi on September 9-10. This means the Canadian government must have had intelligence before that. Premier Pillai’s meetings abroad began on September 11. This means that either the premier failed to ask Ottawa for its advice, or the federal government failed to inform the premier that a major diplomatic incident would be unfolding.
“Canadians and Yukoners must be safe from interference, intimidation, and violence from foreign governments,” added Dixon. “If the allegations made by Prime Minister Trudeau are true, those actions represent an egregious affront to Canadian sovereignty and must be condemned in the strongest possible way.”