Canadian diplomats pack their bags

A brewing diplomatic spat between Canada and India has gone from bad to worse.

What happened: After two weeks of high-level negotiations between Canada and India proved unsuccessful, 41 Canadian diplomats in the country are now hitting the road in search of (we assume) less contentious government appointments. 

  • The move comes after Canada alleged India was involved in the shooting of a leader among the Sikh diaspora in Canada, which rocketed tensions between the nations.

  • New Delhi then ordered Canada to withdraw 41 diplomats by October 10 to make the two diplomatic contingents equal in size, or face removal of their diplomatic immunity.

Why it matters: India’s demand for equal diplomatic representation between the countries threatens to disrupt day-to-day operations at the Canadian consulate that handles visa applications from India, Canada’s highest source of immigrants and international students.

  • Last year, India provided over 118,000 new permanent residents to Canada (more than 27% of all new residents) and issued over 225,000 study permits to Indians.

What’s next: The hight tensions and the ensuing diplomatic reshuffle may also ripple beyond Canada-India relations, given the global attention the dispute has garnered.—SB