The House of Commons is back — and with it, a crisis no one saw coming. On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that “Over the past number of weeks, Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar.” Trudeau then intoned, “Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty.”
Nijjar was president of a Vancouver-area Sikh temple and a member of Sikhs of Justice, a group advocating for the secession of India’s Punjab region into a state that would be known as Khalistan. Wanted by the Indian government as a “fugitive terrorist,” he was shot and killed at the temple in June. At the time, he was organizing a non-binding referendum on Sikh independence and had been informed by CSIS that there had been threats against his life.
Let’s be clear: it is never acceptable for a government to assassinate someone on its own soil or anywhere else. If India did order this murder, it should face consequences. Nonetheless, the timing and delivery of these revelations are highly suspect.
For over a year now, Trudeau has been on the defensive about foreign interference in Canadian elections by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In response, he criticized leaked intelligence documents for containing “inaccuracies” and appointed a special rapporteur who also claimed the “documents don’t tell the full story.” It was also revealed that the CCP was operating secret police stations on Canadian soil to remove alleged “criminals” (a.k.a. dissidents) to China where they would face imprisonment and possibly the death penalty. At the time, Trudeau didn’t call out Beijing: he simply said the issue “concerns us enormously” and the RCMP would deal with it.