Surrey-Newton candidates Sukh Dhaliwal and Harpreet Singh lash out at NDP’s alleged discrimination against Punjabi-speaking canvassers


Sukh Dhaliwal
Sukh Dhaliwal
Harpreet Singh
Harpreet Singh

THERE is shock and consternation at a Craigslist ad that came out last month seeking “Punjabi-speaking callers for federal NDP voter ID calling” for only $13 an hour.

On the other hand, the NDP forks out $17 an hour for its English-speaking canvassers.

Burnaby-based Express Employment Professionals placed the ad in Craigslist.

The NDP claims that it is not the party’s ad because they do not sub-contract employment services, but recruit staff directly.

Dhaliwal pointed out to The VOICE that NDP Leader Tom Mulcair is advocating for a minimum wage of $15/hour and demanded that the NDP come clean about who is responsible for placing the ad offering just $13 to Punjabi speakers.

He said Mulcair is talking out of both sides of his mouth. He noted that when Mulcair is in Quebec he talks about breaking up Canada with just one vote [50 per cent plus one], while in B.C. he talks about a united Canada.

Dhaliwal said Mulcair says the minimum wage equality should be a human right, but he considers Punjabi speakers as inferior. For Mulcair, French and English speakers are worth more than Punjabi speakers, he added.

Dhaliwal said this is a betrayal of Mulcair’s own values.

Harpreet in an email to The VOICE said: “If this is true, I am shocked at the approach of the NDP. Where is our Punjabi-speaking NDP MP [Jinny Sims] now? This form of discrimination by the NDP is deeply disappointing. That the NDP would demean the work of one group of Canadians by treating them as second-class workers is terribly insulting to Punjabi Canadians and an offense to Canadian pluralism.

He added: “It appears the NDP is pushing a ‘do-as-we-say, not-as-we-do’ policy on wages. Certainly, this stands in stark contrast to our Conservative Party’s respect for the diversity of Canadians.”