How Canada’s Flight Ban From India Will Affect Voting

Canada is set to vote on September 20, with some Indian Canadians are finding themselves in a fix. Earlier, the North American country suspended flights from India several times due to the Covid-19 pandemic, affecting those Indians who intended to fly back to Canada to cast their votes.   

The travel ban by Canada was imposed because of the outbreak of the deadly second wave of Covid-19 in India, bringing international travel to a halt. Although several countries have eased their travel restrictions for international passengers, including the US, Canada continues to extend the suspension of flights for another month, which was initially supposed to lift on August 21.   

However, the ban allows passengers to enter the country but with some conditions. Travellers can fly to Canada, but they have to transit via a third country where they have to get a Covid-19 test done. If the test result is negative, they can proceed further and board a flight to Canada.   

Even though new Covid-19 infections in India have been going down, with daily cases fluctuating around 35,000, Canada continues the travel ban, extending it till September 21.    

Wherein Canadian authorities said that the extension of the ban was a precaution to curb the spread of the Delta variant, many termed this a politically motivated discriminatory move.   

“It’s absurd they don’t trust the Indian Covid test. That’s an instance of blatant discrimination. This particular policy is a blanket no to Indian Covid tests does smack of racism to me. What is racism, after all? When you think a group of people are inferior to you based on something like their nationality, and this is what they are suggesting. I find that objectionable,” Mitu Sengupta was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.  

Will the Travel Ban Impact How Indian Canadians Vote?  

Well, the logistics of voting do not change much for an Indian Canadian staying in India. They can still cast their votes via mail. As explained by a Canadian immigration news website CIC News, voters outside Canada need to vote by mail, and then Canada will mail them back with a voting kit. However, their votes must reach on or before September 20. Otherwise, the votes will not be considered.   

The polling will be interesting to watch as many candidates of Indian origin contest the elections and how the controversy over the travel ban impacts the voting system by Indian Canadians. Though the Liberals were reportedly stronger at the announcement of the polls because of the incumbent government’s exemplary handling of the Covid crisis, the extensions of flight ban coming from the PM Justin Trudeau-led government put their victory in question. 

Connect with NRI experts via WhatsApp | Click here