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Saturday, Apr 18th

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Articles and opinion pieces of interest, and related to CIF's mandate.

CIF presents Infrastructure Forum to India's High Commissioner Nirmal verma

CIF Chair Dr. V.I. Lakshmanan presented the Report on the Canada India Infrastructure Forum 2014, organized by CIF on April 23-25, 2014, to India's High Commissioner Nirmal Verma, on July 31, 2014. Also present was CIF's Executive Director, Kalyan Sundaram.

Later, the report was also presented to Patrick Brown, MP, Co-Chair, Canada India Interparliamentary Friendship Group. A copy was also presented to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

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CIF presents Infrastructure Forum to India's High Commissioner Nirmal Verma

CIF Chair Dr. V.I. Lakshmanan presented the Report on the Canada India Infrastructure Forum 2014, organized by CIF on April 23-25, 2014, to India's High Commissioner Nirmal Verma, on July 31, 2014. Also present was CIF's Executive Director, Kalyan Sundaram.

Later, the report was also presented to Patrick Brown, MP, Co-Chair, Canada India Interparliamentary Friendship Group. A copy was also presented to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

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CIF hosts Gujarat/ICBC Business Delegation

June 9, 2014


Canada India Foundation hosted a social/business dinner event for the visiting business delegation from Gujarat, led by Nadira hamid, CEO of Indo-Canadian Business Chamber (ICBC) and Jaimin Shah, of ICBC (Gujarat). The event was held at the Sringeri Community Centre.

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CIF meets new Chief Minister of Gujarat, Anandiben Patel

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CIF National Convenor, Laj Prasher, meets new Gujarat Chief Minister, Anandiben Patel, May 22, 2014


Laj Prasher ,National Convenor   of Canada India Foundation,  along with Canadian MP Patrick Brown, Mukund Purohit, a Charter member of CIF and Mrs. Surinder Prasher, wife of Laj Prasher, were the first Canadians to Congratulate newly appointed chief minister of Gujrat Mrs Anandiben Patel.

Earlier, Laj Prasher and Patrick Brown had a meeting with the Indo Canada Business chamber of Gujarat. A group of 14 companies will be visiting Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal from June 8 to june 14 2014,  to explore business opportunities between Gujrat and Canada. Canada India Foundation will be facilitating business meetings for the delegation from Gujarat.



CIF members meet with Canada India Parliamentary Group

Members of canada India Foundation met with Members of Parliament and Senators in Ottawa on March 4, to update them on the upcoming Canada India infrastructure Forum.

CIF Dinner Feb 24 Ottawa

CIF meets with India's new Consul General in Toronto, Mr. Akhilesh Mishra

CIF Executives (Lucky Lakshmanan - Chair, Laj Prasher - National Convenor and Kalyan Sundaram) met with the new Consul General of India in Toronto, Mr. Akhilesh Mishra on August 30. Mr. Mishra, who replaces Mrs. Preeti Saran, took office on August 29 and was kind enough to receive CIF Executives the next day itself. At the hour-long meeting, Mr. Mishra was invited to a dinner meeting with the Board of Governors of CIF on a suitable date, and also to be the Honoured Guest at the CIF co-sponsored talk by India's former Chief Election Commissioner, Mr. T.S. Krishnamurthy. Mr. Mishra graciously accepted both invitations. he also promised support for the Canada India Infrastructure Forum, the fourth theme forum to be held by CIF on April 23-25, 2014.

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CIF National Convenor Laj Prasher with Federal Justice Minister, Peter McKay and Heritage Minister Shelley Glover

CIF National Convenor, Laj Prasher, met with Justice Minister Hon. Peter McKay, MP and Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Hon. Shelley Glover, MP, in Barrie and invited them to meet with CIF Board of Governors for dialogue on policy matters of relevance to the Indo-Canadian community and Canada-India relations. Also present in the meeting was Patrick Brown, MP, Co-Chair, Canada India Interparliamentary Friendship Group and Member of Parliament for Barrie.

The proposed meetings continues CIF's ongoing interaction with Canada's leaders on public policy.


CIF hold lunch reception in honour of Dr. Abdul Kalam, former President of India

October 3, 2012


Canada India Foundation hosted a special lunch reception for Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, 11th President of India, at the Chateau Laurier hotel in Ottawa. The reception was sponsored by Dr. V.I. Lakshmanan, CIF Charter Member and Vice-Chairman and CEO of Process Research ORTECH. Dr. Kalam was in Ottawa to deliver the inaugural Budh Singh Dhahan and Kashmir Kaur Dhahan lecture at the Canada India Centre for of Excellence. CIF Charter Members present at the event were Mr. Barj S. Dhahan (Chair), Mr. Rahul Shastri (National Convenor), Dr. Atul Tolia (Secretary to the Board), Dr. V.I. Lakshmanan, Mr. Ramesh Chotai, Mr. Sudhir Handa and Mr. Laj Prasher. 

India's Acting High Commissioner in Canada, Mrs. Narinder Chauhan and Canada's Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Hon. Jason Kenney led the special guests who joined CIF and Dr. Kalam at the reception. Minister of State, Hon. Bal Gosal. Minister for Democratic reform, Hon. Tim Uppal, MP's Patrick Brown, Devinder Shory, Joyce Murray, Kyle Seeback, Parm Gill, Helene Leblanc, Lysane Blanchette-Lamoth were other dignitaries from the Canadian parliament who attended.


CIF Executives meet with Hon. Ed Fast, Minister for International Trade

October 2, 2012


Charter Members of Canada India Foundation had the privilege of holding a roundtable meeting with Hon. Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, to provide their views on impediments to the growth of trade between Canada and India. CIF was represented by Barj S. Dhahan (Chair), Rahul Shastri (National Convenor), Dr. Atul Tolia (Secretary to the Board), Laj Prasher (Executive Committee Members), Vikram Khurana (Regional Convenor), Ramesh Chotai (Past-Chair) and Kalyan Sundaram (Executive Director). They were was joined by members of Canada India Interparliamentary Friendship Group, MP's Patrick Brown, Devinder Shory, Kyle Seeback and Senator Asha Seth. Others invited by CIF to join the roundtable were President of Carleton University Dr. Roseann Runte, Dr. Pradeep Merchant, Dr. Nishith Goel and Mr. Pradeep Sood.


CIF Hosts dinner reception for Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers from India

Canada India Foundation hosted a Reception and Dinner on September 21, 2012, for the Empowered Committee of State Ministers from India. The reception was sponsored by BMO.
The Ministry of Finance, Government of India constituted an Empowered Committee of the State Finance Ministers in 2000 for introducing reforms in the State level taxes. The Union Finance Minister is the Patron and Mr. Sushil Kumar Modi, Hon. Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister of the State of Bihar is the Chairman of the Empowered Committee. A delegation of the Empowered Committee had visited Toronto and Alberta in June 2006 to study the complexity of the inter-state trade. While the earlier delegation had visited with a very limited scope, now this delegation's visit to Canada is from the perspective that India is in the process of introduction of Goods and Services Tax.

Barj S. Dhahan, chair, commended the Empowered Committee for its visit to Canada and thanked the members for joining CIF in a short discussion on the Canadian experience of PST, GST and the HST in British Columbia.

Picture with at September 21, 2012 Reception and Dinner hosted by CIF and sponsored by BMO - Bank of Montreal for the Empowered Committee of State Ministers

Hon. Mr. Sushil Kumar Modi, Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, and Chairman of the Committee
Hon. Dr. A.K. Walia, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Revenue, Urban Development and Irrigation and Flood Control, Delhi (center of the picture in black and Mr. Modi is to his left).


Canada India Foundation Members meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Ottawa, November 29


Charter Members of Canada India Foundation capped off a very productive day in Ottawa on November 29 with a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper at his office in Parliament Hill. CIF Chair Barj Dhahan and National Convenor Rahul Shastri were joined by Asha Seth, Ajit Someshwar, V.I. Lakshmanan, Ravi Subramanian, Laj Prasher, Vasu Chanchlani, Ramesh Chotai, Sudhir Handa and Executive Director Kalyan Sundaram met with the Prime Minister who expressed his committment to stronger ties with India and admiration for his counterpart, India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. 


The meeting was preceded by a lunch meeting between CIF and Members of Canada India Interparlimantary Friendship Group, which elected its office bearers at the meeting. MP Patrick Brown  and MP Devinder Shorey were acclaimed as Co-Chairs of the Group representing the House, and Senator Larry Smith and Senator David Smith as Co-Chairs representing the Senate. The following were acclaimed as Vice-Chairs: MP's Brian Storseth, Kirsty Duncan, Joe Daniel, Parm Gill, Jinny Sims, Andrew Saxton, Kyle Seeback, Rod Bruinooge, Glen Thibeault, Jasbhir Sandhu, Rathika Sithsabaiesan, Lysane Blanchette-Lamonthe, Helene Leblanc and Brad Butt. Minister Bal Gosal, Minister Tim Uppal and Parliamentary Secretary Deepak Obhrai also spoke at the meeting. Rahul Shastri spoke on behalf of CIF and thanked the Friendship Group, especially MP Patrick Brown for coming together to promote stronger Canada-India ties. The group also discussed creation and management of a Parliamentary Internship Program for Canadians of Indian Origin, current status of Free Trade negotiations and upcoming participation by parliamentarians in upcoming events in India.


Earlier in the day, the CIF team called on Indian High Commissioner His Excellency Shashishekhar Gavai and updated him on upcoming CIF events, including the Annual Gala in April 2012  in Toronto and the Canada India Agricultural and Food Processing Forum in September in Vancouver, and invited him to be the honoured guest of CIF at both events.




Joint CIF-ICCC Roundtable on democratic reforms with Minister Tim Uppal

November 21, 2011, Toronto : Executives of Canada India Foundation and Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce held a productive roundtable discussion with Hon. Tim Uppal, Minister of State for Democratic Reforms, on the proposed changes that have been tabled in the Parliament on:


  • Moving towards fair representation in the House of Commons
  • Reforming the Senate
  • Strengthening Canada’s political financing regime

    CIF Charter Members attending were: Asha Seth (Regional Convenor), Pankaj Dave (Member of the Board), Ramesh Chotai (Immediate Past-Chair), Surjit Babra (Past-Chair), Sudhir Handa (Past Member of the Board) and Kalyan Sundaram (Executive Director). 


    Photo: Asha Seth (CIF), Hon. Tim Uppal, Satish Thakkar (ICCC)


    CIF Executives with BC Premier Christy Clark on India delegation

    NOv 11-17, 2011 - CIF Charter Members Barj Dhahan (Chair), Sarup Mann (Regional Convenor-West), Amrik Sangha and Jay Minhas accompanied BC Premier Christy Clark in the delegation to India led by the Premier. Here is the text of the speech by Barj Dhahan made during the Premier's reception at the house of Canadian high Commissioner Stewart Beck:

    "Your excellency High Commissioner Stewart Beck, Honorable Premier, Minister Michael de Jong, friends, fellow British Columbians and Canadians, and distinguished guests:Communities and nations flourish and prosper when visionaries lead them. Visionary leaders not only see the present reality for what it is, more importantly, they imagine what the future can be. They engage heart, mind and soul of their people to dream, to imagine, to risk, to innovate, to create a better and prosperous nation!
    Premier Clark, you have kept your promise to lead this trade mission to China and India - to strengthen our existing ties with these two great countries and to initiate new relationships for increased trade and investment. Nearly twenty years ago, Dr. Manmohan Singh, first as India's finance minister and later as Prime Minister, with great fore-sight, patience and determination, transformed India's fiscal and regulatory framework - unleashing the creative potential of India's people to think and innovate through research, hard work and new technologies leading to the rise of India as a growing world power. Our two past Canadian prime ministers and now the Honorable Stephen Harper  saw the strategic importance of Canada engaging with India at all levels. It is exciting to see now our two countries, vibrant and dynamic democracies, negotiating an historic Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement for mutual benefits.
    Premier Clark your "Canada Starts Here - Jobs for BC" strategy will without doubt lead to increased trade and investment. What you have done in China and what you and we collectively do here in India over these next few days, will not only mean jobs for BC but will help to bring greater prosperity for all Indians and Canadians for generations to come. Your excellency, Stewart Beck, a special thanks to you and your team in India for your tireless and unrelenting effort in promoting 'Canada Brand' in India. What we do together for British Columbia, Canada and India, will echo in eternity. On behalf of Canada India Foundation (and charter members present - Sarup Mann, Jay Manhas and Amrik Sangha, and my father Budh S. Dhahan,  and Ajit Thandi ), we honour you both with a small expression of our gratitude and thanks for your leadership."

    CIF presented Premier Clark and High Commissioner Beck with souvenir gifts at the occasion.

    Picture: Barj Dhahan and Sarup Mann with BC Premier Christy Clark and Minister of Health Michael deJong.