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Plummeting ties leave Punjabis in Canada anxious | Chandigarh News – Times of India

BATHINDA: With diplomatic relations between India and Canada worsening, many of those on work permits in the North American country are anxiously watching the developments. Many youths migrate from Punjab on student visas and end up working there for years. Even during their studies, they go to work for certain hours to finance their extended stay in that country.
Several such migrants are worried that worsening ties may not be well for their future endeavours, given the recent incidents in Canada. Just a few months ago, the Canadian government had relented to the outcry of Indian students and workers facing deportation on grounds of fake documents. Then there was the issue of hostel accommodations to students from India, mainly Punjab, and non-payment of wages by a bakery at Mississauga.
Canada is the most favoured country for students, with India being among those at the top. It is because of the craze of students to settle in Canada that IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and immigration centres have come up at every nook and corner of even small towns of Punjab.
TOI spoke to a couple of youths in Surrey on a work permit. “Belonging to a country which is not on good terms with the host country may deprive us of the spirit of natural sympathy when in a problem. Even the natives may not treat us well if the cold relations persist,” they said.
A student activist said, “It leaves us vulnerable. Our parents sent us here after spending huge sums of money, with the hope that we get decent working conditions. But, now we are worried.” Aman Kumar, a Punjabi on work permit in Vancouver, and Neeraj Kumar from Surrey said any confrontation between the two countries may jeopardise their chances of staying in Canada. We are hoping for things to return to normal soon, they added.
Even the family members of those who are in Canada are worried back home. “The strained ties are not good for the future of our children in Canada. The authorities there may not be as forthcoming in helping our children as they have been so far,” said Bathinda-based Vinod Kumar, whose son works a store in Toronto.

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