Even as the Vibrant Gujarat Summit has been lined up as a marquee event of the state government next year, the strained relations between India and Canada have cast a shadow on the participation of Canada in the event. In preparation for promoting the upcoming summit, literature related to Canada was being considered, but discussions on sending it to Canada are now unable to reach a consensus.
Tension has arisen between the countries following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s indictment of India in the killing of pro-Khalistani activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in that country, which India has strongly objected to.
In the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, industrialists from various countries participate every year. After Japan and Canada were connected as partner countries in Gujarat in 2011, Canada has been part of every Vibrant Summit since then and the 10th summit too was supposed to have its participation. In 2019, Canada’s provincial and industry delegations enthusiastically participated in Gujarat and made significant contributions. However, for the upcoming 2024 Vibrant Summit, inviting Canada is a matter that will require guidance from the central government.
In the current scenario it is unlikely that Canada’s industrialists and officials’ delegation will be coming to Gujarat for the summit. Literature for promoting the summit has been prepared by industrialists to be sent to other countries, but Canada may not be included. For the promotion, a delegation will also organise roadshows in other countries, which has been done successfully in Canada so far.
Justin Trudeau had made serious allegations against India, suspending Indian diplomats, accusing them of being spies. In response, India also took retaliatory action by expelling Canada’s High Commissioner Cameron Mackenzie and imposing a ban on issuing Indian visas to Canadian citizens. BLS India, which handles visa applications on behalf of India, posted a notice on its website, informing Canadian citizens that Indian visa applications were temporarily suspended for operational reasons. The India-Canada dispute continues to escalate day by day.