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Canada’s Sikh officer who fought for right to wear turban honored

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Photo: Flickr

Vancouver: Baltej Singh Dhillon, who made the history after being appointed the first turbaned Sikh officer in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), was honored at an annual event held to eradicate racism on Saturday.

Organized by Spice Radio in partnership with Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, it was second annual Raise Your Hands Against Racism campaign that was launched on the occasion of Martin Luther King’s birth anniversary last year.

Dhillon’s appointment in 1990 had stirred lot of controversy as it led to quite the racist backlash with rightwing groups openly opposing his recruitment. However, he won the fight despite many challenges and hostility.

Dhillon told HT that the RCMP will soon have turbans for commissioned Sikh officers like himself which means uniform rules are going to be amended to accommodate turbaned officials.

Dhillon is the first individual to be honored as part of the anti-racism initiative that was started by Spice Radio CEO Shushma Datt, a seasoned broadcaster in the local South Asian community. She has announced that each year trailblazers like Dhillon will be recognised and honoured for standing up against discrimination in any form.

The campaign coincides with the festival of Holi and participants are encouraged to dip their hands in color and leave their handprints on a sheet of white paper along with a statement against racism at different locations across Greater Vancouver.

People from different ethnicities thronged to all these locations in Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey and White Rock to participate in the campaign. The volunteers wore t-shirts carrying slogan #HandsAgainstRacism. The campaign location in Surrey, with a sizable Punjabi population, remained a crowd puller where Indo-Canadian MLA Harry Bains also showed up.

Both Vancouver and Surrey municipalities made proclamations recognizing the campaign.

At the opening event held at Roundhouse Community Center, prominent South Asian scholar Suresh Kurl spoke about the significance of Holi and its relevance in the fight against racism. Shiamak Davar dance team and a team of drummers led by popular radio host Gurp Sian performed on the occasion.

Source: Hindustan Times

  • Shriya Katoch

    Such bravehearted people that protect our culture in foreign borders should truly be rewarded .

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US to Work with Australia, Canada to Cut Reliance on Chinese Minerals

Over 80 percent of the global supply chain of rare earth elements is controlled by one country

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US, Australia, Canada
FILE - Samples of rare earth minerals (L-R): Cerium oxide, Bastnasite, Neodymium oxide and Lanthanum carbonate are on display during a tour of Molycorp's Mountain Pass Rare Earth facility in Mountain Pass, California. VOA

The United States will team up with Canada and Australia to help countries around the world develop their reserves of minerals like lithium, copper and cobalt, the State Department said on Tuesday, part of a multi-pronged strategy to reduce global reliance on China for materials crucial to high-tech industries.

Washington grew more concerned recently about its dependence on mineral imports after Beijing suggested using them as leverage in the trade war between the world’s largest economic powers.

This would interrupt the manufacture of a wide range of consumer, industrial and military goods, including mobile phones, electric vehicles, batteries, and fighter jets.

“Over 80 percent of the global supply chain of rare earth elements — is controlled by one country,” the State Department said in a fact sheet outlining the effort, which it has dubbed the Energy Resource Governance Initiative. “Reliance on any one source increases the risk of supply disruptions.”

US, Australia, Canada
The United States will team up with Canada and Australia to help countries around the world. VOA

Under the plan, the United States will share mining expertise with other countries to help them discover and develop their resources, and advise on management and governance frameworks to help ensure their industries are attractive to international investors.

Doing so will help to ensure global supply for the minerals can meet world demand, which is projected to surge alongside the growing take-up in high-technology goods. “Demand for critical energy minerals could increase almost 1,000% by 2050,” according to the fact sheet.

Frank Fannon, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for energy resources, said in an interview that tensions with China show the United States should be producing more rare earth minerals and help others ensure a secure supply. “We need to do more and we are not alone in this,” Fannon said.

Canada and Australia, two major mining countries, were partnering in the effort and other allies could join later, a U.S. official said.

Also Read- In Hot Water? Warming Oceans may Reduce Sea Life by 17%,Says Study

Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton, said Canadian officials have met with the State Department several times to discuss critical minerals and environmental issues around global mining and he looks forward to advancing the initiative.

Representatives of Australia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The plan was first reported on Tuesday morning by the Financial Times.

The plan comes a week after the U.S. Commerce Department recommended urgent steps to boost U.S. domestic production of “critical minerals,” including by providing low-interest loans to mining companies and requiring defense companies to “buy American.”

US, Australia, Canada
Washington grew more concerned recently about its dependence on mineral imports. Pixabay

The Commerce report also recommended that U.S. agencies review areas that are currently protected from development and assess whether those restrictions should be lifted or reduced to allow for critical minerals development. (VOA)