Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Home Canada Indo-Canadians term Canada's ban on flights from India as 'discriminatory'

Indo-Canadians term Canada’s ban on flights from India as ‘discriminatory’

Canada’s decision to ban direct flights from India till 21st September but allowing vaccinated family-class passengers and students from all other countries have not gone down well with the Indo-Canadian community.

Because of the ban, Indian students and family-class returnees are taking indirect routes to reach Canada which cost them $4,000-$6,000 per person.

Indians are traveling to Canada via Mexico, the Maldives, Doha, Belgrade, and Cairo, where they stop for 2 to 10 nights before taking a Covid-19 test and boarding onward flights.

The Canadian government said that travelers coming from India “via an indirect route will continue to be required to obtain a valid Covid-19 pre-departure test report from a 3rd country, other than India, before continuing their journey to Canada”.

The Canadian authorities suspect that travelers from India are using fake documents about Covid- 19 vaccination.

As direct flights from countries such as Pakistan continue to land in Canada, many in the Indo-Canadian community see the ban as a discriminatory move against India.
Indo-Canadian aviation expert Hemant Shah said Canada’s decision is guided by political reasons.

“Why only India? When you talk about human rights, why this discrimination against India when Indo-Canadians are a major part of Canada’s workforce, and Indian students pump billions into Canada’s economy,” he asked.

Satish Thakkar, chairman of the Canada-India Foundation, said the ban has created a lot of confusion in the community because Covid cases are coming down in India even as other countries show signs of an uptick.

“Passengers from India take shots of Covishield which is approved by the WHO and Canada. If you allow people with two doses from other countries, the same should apply to travelers from India. If you allow them via third countries, why not directly,” Thakkar asked.

Toronto-based Rishi Kapoor of Nanak Flights said the ban on direct flights is bleeding travelers from India.

“If the authorities here suspect Covid tests, they should issue a list of approved labs so that the travelers can get vaccinated there before coming to Canada,” Kapoor said.
However, Brig (Retd) Nawab Heir, who heads the Veterans’ Association of Ontario, said the ban on Indian flights has been extended in view of the threat of the Delta variant.

“There have been reports of some Delta cases around Brampton and some people have been caught with fake test certificates and flouting rules,” he said.


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