The Canada-India spat isn’t getting any better

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the spat between Canada and India isn’t the kind that’s easily resolved over a few texts and a round of beers. 

What happened: India is reportedly demanding that Canada remove 41 of its 62 diplomats in the country by next week to match the number of diplomats the country has in Canada.

  • One source told the Financial Times that India has threatened to revoke the diplomatic immunity of excess diplomats remaining past that deadline.

  • While Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly refused to comment on the report's accuracy, she did say Canada is looking to resolve tensions through private talks. 

Catch-up: Tensions with India have risen since the Canadian government claimed it had credible evidence linking India to the killing of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. 

Why it matters: Along with the travel advisory and visa service suspension, the diplomatic  disappearing act is another sign that one of Canada’s most important foreign relationships is rapidly deteriorating. 

  • India provides the most new immigrants to Canada these days, and a long-lasting fallout could hamper Canada’s ambitious immigration targets.
  • It would also hurt the economic relationship between the countries, which is supposed to be taken to new heights with a free trade deal.

What’s next: The PM said Canada was “not looking to escalate” things, but it does want India to play ball with an investigation into the killing. India might get strong-armed into cooperating by the US, but that doesn’t mean diplomatic relations are reparable—QH