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Canadian sentiment towards India drops sharply amid diplomatic strains: Report

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Canadian sentiment towards India drops sharply amid diplomatic strains: Report

India’s image in Canada has taken a hit as positive views related to the country dropped by 11 points since March 2023, according to new data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute. 

The Angus Reid Institute was founded in October 2014 by pollster and sociologist Dr Angus Reid and provides public opinion polling among other services. Some reports suggest that the non-profit is biased in its reporting. 

In the latest report on India-Canada, the report suggested that only 33 per cent of Canadians have a favourable opinion of India while a majority of 54 per cent view it unfavourably.

This decline follows a report from the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) which highlighted concerns about interference in Canadian elections by both China and India. 

In its 2019 review, the Committee noted that the “most significant perpetrators of foreign interference in Canada were the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Russian Federation” and that other states, “including India, Pakistan and Iran engaged in foreign interference activities.” 

Notably, India has strongly refuted the claims terming them “baseless”. Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal had said, “We have seen media reports about the Canadian commission inquiring into. We strongly reject all such baseless allegations of Indian interference in Canadian elections.”

“It is not the government of India’s policy to interfere in the democratic processes of other countries. In fact, quite on the reverse, it is Canada which has been interfering in our internal affairs,” he added. 

The relationship between Canada and India has particularly soured recently. Trudeau’s accusation that the Indian government was involved in the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian Sikh activist, has intensified tensions.

There is a downturn in views towards China as well. Canadians remain favourable towards other countries like United Kingdom and France, ahead of key trade partners Mexico and the United States. “China, Russia, and Iran all generate negative favourability among four-in-five or more,” the report said. 

(With input from agencies)

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Heena Sharma

Heena Sharma is a digital journalist who writes mostly on current geopolitical developments. @HeenaSharma0819


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