How Does Harjit Sajjan Still Have A Job?

We are witnessing the ongoing degradation of Canada’s democratic institutions.

Everyone makes mistakes.

Voters understand this and accept this.

We don’t expect our political leaders to be perfect, nor do we expect them always to get it right.

What we do expect is for there to be a baseline of loyalty to our nation, and to our core democratic institutions.

We expect that those in power serve the interests of Canadian Citizens first and foremost.

Crucially, that is supposed to mean Canadian Citizens of all backgrounds.

There is a reason our government is referred to as the ‘Canadian government,’ rather than the ‘Hyphenated-Canadian’ government.

The government is supposed to work on behalf of all of us.

And so, as it becomes more and more apparent that former National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan used his role to try and direct Canadian resources to rescue people based on the fact that they were the same religion as him while leaving others with a closer connection to Canada in the lurch, the question many are asking is how Sajjan is still in the Liberal cabinet.

Recent reporting indicates that – as Sajjan was directing the military to focus on rescuing Afghan Sikhs – he was receiving donations from a Sikh charity:

“A Sikh organization implicated in former defence minister Harjit Sajjan’s order to evacuate Sikhs from Afghanistan during the retreat from Kabul had donated several thousands of dollars to Sajjan in the form of political contributions.

According to a Globe and Mail report from last week, the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation – a Sikh charity dedicated to saving minorities in Afghanistan – had been in contact with Sajjan in 2021 while he was overseeing Canada’s evacuation from the region.

As defence minister, Sajjan ordered the Canadian special forces to undertake a mission to rescue the Afghani Sikhs as he continued to liaise with the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation, who themselves were in active contact with the Sikhs on the ground.”

Again, this wasn’t Sajjan issuing a public statement calling for Afghan Sikhs to be evacuated. That would have been reasonable. Instead, this was Sajjan using – many would say ‘abusing’ – his role as Defence Minister to direct Canadian forces to shift their focus to rescuing Afghan Sikhs, for seemingly no other reason than the fact that Sajjan is himself a Sikh.

That way of thinking – focusing on his own religious identity above his role as Defence Minister of a nation with people of all backgrounds – is simply unacceptable.

And now, the government is refusing to say if Sajjan made a similar push to rescue other groups in Afghanistan – a clear sign that he did not:

“The federal Liberals won’t say whether former defence minister Harjit Sajjan intervened on behalf of any other groups trying to flee Afghanistan when Kabul fell to the Taliban in 2021.

Sajjan has said he used “appropriate” channels to relay information to the Canadian Armed Forces about the whereabouts of a group of more than 200 Afghan Sikhs who were trapped.”

So again, how does Sajjan still have a job at this point?

How can anyone see him as credible?

How can the government not see how Sajjan remaining in the federal cabinet – let alone in the Liberal Party itself – erodes confidence in our national institutions?

The sad fact is that Justin Trudeau has so thoroughly lowered the standards of behaviour that disloyalty, incompetence, and a lack of transparency are now the norm.

If Trudeau was to punish Sajjan, he would have to punish himself, and since staying in power is all that Trudeau cares about now, there’s very little chance any action will be taken.

And so, we can add the severe degradation of Canada’s national institutions to Justin Trudeau’s leadership ‘legacy.’

Spencer Fernando


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