Alberta MPs fight for 30,000 Canadians stranded in India, due to COVID-19

Written By Guest User, Posted on April 6, 2020

Calgary Skyview MP Jag Sahota spoke with The National Telegraph yesterday on the issue of Canadians stranded overseas by COVID-19, stating, “I’ve heard from many constituents who have loved ones or are themselves stranded in India. The cost for flights is very expensive, and the logistical challenges of travelling within India right now further complicate the journey home.” 

With approximately 30,000 Canadians stranded throughout India, many, who have not qualified for Ottawa’s emergency loan program, and which provides up to $5,000 to cover the costs of returning home, have since taken to social media to express their concerns.

“We’re asking the government to work with their counterparts to make airfare prices reasonable, to fly into airports closer to where the majority of Canadians are staying in India and to Canada,” says Sahota, who, alongside MP Uppal and Hallan, penned a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

In the letter to Minister Champagne, they also attributed the logistical issues of return flights for the stranding of their constituents overseas. The lack of access to affordable flights, as well as safety concerns, presented a series of challenges that were exacerbated by constrained financial resources.

In an email from Global Affairs Canada, six flights were scheduled to leave New Delhi and Mumbai, starting Saturday at $2,900 a pop.

While airliners set the costs, the MPs have requested other options, including private charter, as well as the expansion of airports available to facilitate repatriation efforts, particularly in Punjab and Gujarat. 

For those “unwillingly stranded in India due to [Canada’s] current lockdown,” Minister Champagne reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to assisting Canadians abroad.

In a March 16th Press Release, he states:

“Canada is committed to providing all assistance possible to Canadians abroad affected by COVID-19 and to helping them return home safely. We continue to monitor the situation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to see how we can further respond to this global crisis.”

He has also referred those affected to register for Registration of Canadians Abroad to receive updates during the pandemic.

In an interview with CBC News, Global Affairs somberly states that “it will not be possible to ensure the return of all Canadians who wish to come home.”

To date, 388,072 Canadians have registered for the service. 

Guest User

One response to “Alberta MPs fight for 30,000 Canadians stranded in India, due to COVID-19”

  1. William Roberts says:

    I always love to hear about these "Canadians" that are always in their original Homelands and when the sh,t hits the fan they become "Canadians" again to reap the benefits of our extremely generous society.Very convenient isn’t it.