THE Indo Canadian Workers’ Association of Canada held its biennial conference on January 22, 2017 at Strawberry Hill Library Hall in Surrey, Canada. On this occasion ICWA released its annual calendar dedicated to the memory of Bhai Balwant Singh and to the centenary of Russian Revolution. The conference was attended by a number of people and many local politicians and personalities participated.
The conference started with the speech of ICWA president Surinder Sangha, remembering the sacrifices made by Bhai Balwant Singh and Gadhrites. “Due to their scarifies, we all are enjoying all facilities in the Canada. Today again the situations are such that we should remain vigilant, active and be ready to struggle to meet the current challenges,” he said.
ICWA secretary Surinder Dhesi presented the two year report highlighting ICWA’s achievements in the political, social and cultural fields. Surinder said through its activities, the ICWA is able to gain strength and support of the people, not only in the lower mainland of BC but also in other provinces of Canada. Manjit Singh Dhillon, grandson of Gadhri Niranjan Singh Pandori presented his poem “Amar Kahani”.
Several resolutions related to working people and community were presented which included the demand of 15 dollar per hour minimum wages in BC, demand to stop the exploitation of foreign workers and students in obtaining the permanent residency (PR), demand parity of BC MSP with other provinces of Canada and demand not to increase the property taxes due to the current inflated assessments. All the resolutions were adopted unanimously and ICWA promised to work hard to convey these demands to the appropriate governments.
Jinny Sims, former MP spoke and assured the people to take these demands to the government levels and also highlighted the teachers’ struggle and its achievement of a recent Supreme Court decision in favour of teachers.
Organiser of ICWA, Kulwant Dhesi spoke about the current political situation in BC and highlighted the current government’s anti-people policies. Kulwant presented the list of new ICWA committee which was adopted unanimously. The committee has 27 members including a ten member executive committee with Surinder Dhesi as president and Harinderjit Singh Sandhu as secretary.
The organisers of the conference were Amarjit Brar, Daljit Johal, Hardeep Gill, Laimber Singh Sahota, Gurmit Basi, Surjit Gill, Najjar Singh and many others. The conference was chaired by Surinder Dhesi. At the end Parmjit Singh Gandhri thanked all the participants for their time and participation.