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India-Canada ties hit a new low as trade minister Mary Ng postpones India trip

Ties between India and Canada have hit a new low as Canadian trade minister Mary Ng has ‘postponed’ a planned trade mission to Mumbai next month without giving any explanation.

The move comes after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s not-so-happy trip to India for the G20 Summit this month that also involved an extended stay here due to a snag in his flight.

Ng was to come to Mumbai on October 9 along with Canadian businesses for a five-day trip known as a ‘Team Canada’ trade mission to revive bilateral trade talks that are currently paused, review trade ties, and meet industry representatives.

“At this time, we are postponing the upcoming trade mission to India,” a spokesperson for the minister said without giving a reason, as per a Reuters report.

The relationship between Canada and India has been showing signs of strain in recent times with the Trudeau government taking limited steps to address India’s concerns over anti-India activities in Canada.

Last Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed India’s concerns to Trudeau following the G20 Summit here.Officials here said extremist elements in Canada are promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats, damaging diplomatic premises, and threatening the Indian community in Canada and their places of worship. They said the nexus of such forces with organised crime, drug syndicates and human trafficking should be a concern for Canada as well.Modi had told Trudeau that it is essential for the two countries to cooperate in dealing with such threats. He also said India-Canada relations are anchored in shared democratic values, respect for rule of law, and strong people-to-people ties.

Later, Trudeau refused New Delhi’s offer to avail India’s official aircraft Air India One for flying back home after snag in his aircraft kept him waiting here.

Earlier this week, Jeremy Harrison, trade minister of Canadian province Saskatchewan, alleged that Trudeau is picking a fight with India for domestic political gains and risking access to one of his province’s most important export markets. “It is very difficult to come to any other conclusion that your government has once again put its own domestic political interests ahead of the national economic interest – particularly as it relates to exports and trade of western Canadian-produced commodities,” Harrison wrote in a letter to the prime minister.

He alleged that Ottawa left provinces in the dark for months over the status of trade talks with India.

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