|High Commission of India, Ottawa||High Commission of Canada, New Delhi|
|High Commissioner of India to Canada Sanjay Kumar Verma||High Commissioner of Canada to India Cameron MacKay|
Canada–India relations also referred to as Indo-Canadian relations, are the bilateral relations between Canada and India. According to the Canadian Government, these relations are built upon a "mutual commitment to democracy", "pluralism", and "people-to-people links." In 2022, bilateral trade between India and Canada was at about C$15.14 billion.
In 1858, Queen Victoria proclaimed that, throughout the Empire, the people of India would enjoy equal privileges with white people without discrimination of colour, creed or race. Since both Canada and India were under British Crown rule, ex-army men from the British Indian Army migrated to Canada to start a new life. However, what awaited them was racism and discrimination. Many settled in Western Canada, which was sparsely populated at the time, and worked as law enforcement officers due to their military history. They also worked in forest clearing as lumberjacks and owned lumber mills. However, race relations with white Canadians were strained. The socioeconomic systems that advantages white people ensured that racialization and minimal direct contact (e.g. racial gatekeeping) remained the same by setting up various barriers. This dynamic continues implicitly and explicitly into the 21st century internally within the country, and the external intercontinental cordiality is also fraught with similar relationship dynamics.
In the 1940s and 1960s Canada–India relations were enhanced because of the personal ties which developed between Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and two Canadian Prime Ministers who served during those years: Louis St. Laurent and Lester B. Pearson. At the United Nations and in the Commonwealth, on issues as diverse as the Korean War armistice and the Suez Crisis, there was a convergence of interest and commitment between India and Canada. Canada's aid programme to India began in 1951 and grew substantially under the Colombo Plan. Canada provided food aid, project financing and technical assistance to India. In the past five decades India has been one of the largest recipients of Canadian bilateral aid, amounting to over $3.8 billion Canadian dollars. In the 1960s, Canada supported the Kundah hydro-electric power house project through the Colombo Plan.
Indo-Canadian relations deteriorated in the wake of India's Smiling Buddha nuclear test of May 1974 when the Canadian government severed bilateral nuclear cooperation with both India and Pakistan in 1976 after claims that the fissionable material used to construct India's first nuclear weapon had been synthesized with the Canadian-supplied CIRUS nuclear research reactor. Thereafter Canada resolved to engage in nuclear cooperation only with countries which signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), and which instituted full-scope safeguards on their nuclear energy programmes under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). India and Pakistan are two nations that have both consistently refused to sign the NPT, and voted against UN General Assembly Resolutions which they assert violates their nation's sovereign right to choose whether or not to sign such treaties. In early February 1997, Foreign Minister I.K.Gujral re-iterated India's opposition to the treaty, saying that "India favours any step aimed at destroying nuclear weapons, but considers that the treaty in its current form is not comprehensive and bans only certain types of tests". At that time, Canada persistently refused to engage in nuclear co-operation with India and Pakistan until and unless they sign the treaty ended its nuclear collaboration with India for the time being, and severely damaged relations between the two nations. However, in 2010, the signing of the Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (NCA) between the two countries started a new era of engagement. A follow-on agreement was signed in 2015 to supply 3000 metric ton Uranium concentrate to India under five-year contract.
The bombing by Sikh separatists of Air India Flight 182 in 1985 resulted in Canada and India maintain a bilateral dialogue on anti-terrorism, including an annual meeting of the Canada-India Strategic Dialogue, as well as regular meetings of the aforementioned Canada-India Working Group on Counter-Terrorism.
In the 1990s, a chance to improve Indo-Canadian relations arose when India instituted major reforms of its economy. India went through a large economic liberalisation, which attracted the attention of the Canadian government and the business community. Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien paid a diplomatic mission to India in January 1996 with two cabinet ministers and 300 business figures. India's External Affairs Minister Inder Kumar Gujral paid an official visit to Canada in September 1996. Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy reciprocated with a visit to India in January 1997 during which he inaugurated the Office of the Canadian High Commission in Chandigarh, capital of Punjab and Haryana states. The Canada-India Working Group on Counter- Terrorism was also established in 1997, bringing together on an annual basis several departments and agencies of the Canadian and Indian governments. Former Governor General Roméo LeBlanc undertook a state visit to India in March 1998. Prime Minister Stephen Harper took an official visit to India in November 2009. The Canada India Foundation has been active since 2007 in fostering support for stronger bi-lateral relations between Canada and India. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Canada in June 2010 for the G20 Summit in Toronto.
2011 was dubbed the "Year of India in Canada," a joint initiative by both governments. Under this auspice, in June 2011, the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce co-hosted with the government of India the regional Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, a conference of the diaspora. This conference hosted over 1,000 delegates from India and Canada's governmental, business, medical, scientific, and philanthropic sectors. This event was followed up by the International Indian Film Academy Awards held in Toronto in June 2011.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spent a week in India on a state visit in February 2018. Most commentators called it a failure or a disaster because of Canadian tolerance for the Sikh separatists operating in Canada.
In December 2020, Trudeau expressed concerns about the handling of farmer protests by the Indian government. Trudeau stated that "Canada will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protestors" and expressed support for "the process of dialogue." In response, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs stated that Prime Minister Trudeau's comments were "an unacceptable interference in our internal affairs".
In September 2023, during the 2023 G20 New Delhi summit, Canada and India did not have a one-on-one meeting, but instead met on the sidelines. Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised concerns with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about Sikh protests in Canada, while Trudeau brought up the accusations of Indian government involvement in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The talks between the two leaders were tense, affecting ongoing trade discussions. Later that month, Trudeau spoke in the House of Commons on what he stated were credible accusations of Indian government involvement in the murder of Nijjar. Subsequently, diplomatic relations between the two nations further deteriorated and each side announced the expulsion of a top diplomat. On 20 September, India issued warnings to its citizens in Canada that they should "exercise utmost caution" due to "growing anti-India activities". Marc Miller, Canada's Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, rejected India's characterization of Canada as unsafe in a statement.
Canada and India enjoy a prosperous trading relationship. Since 2004, despite the late-2000s recession, trade has increased by over 70%. In 2009, Canadian exports to India totalled C$2.1 billion, while in the same year Canadian imports from India totalled C$2.0 billion, giving Canada a C$100 million trade surplus. India celebrated the year 2012 as year of India in Canada to promote business, cultural and political relations with India.
Despite the warm relationship, trade between Canada and India is less than their potential. India accounts for less than 1% of Canada's total export and total import in 2014, with bilateral trade of C$5.77 billion in 2014 (compared to more than C$56 billion bilateral trade between China and Canada). Nevertheless, total trade between the two countries grows steadily over the past 5 years.
Canada and India are currently holding negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) to improve the trade relations between the two countries. As of March 2015, the two countries held their 9th round of negotiations in New Delhi.
Canada's Merchandise Trade with India 2015
With more than $13.7 billion in trade, India was Canada’s 10th largest two-way merchandise trade partner in 2022, Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Jean-Pierre J. Godbout said. Canadian merchandise exports to India totaled $5.3 billion, ranking ninth, Godbout said. But Trudeau had frosty encounters with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Group of 20 meeting in New Delhi. Trade talks have been paused and a planned trade mission to India has been canceled.
|Canadian Imports from India||Canadian Exports to India|
|Merchandise Classification||% of total imports||Merchandise Classification||% of total exports|
|1||Boilers, mechanical appliances, etc.||8.43||Edible vegetables, roots and tubers||36.06|
|2||Mineral fuels, oils||6.91||Pearls, precious stones or metals||12.33|
|3||Pearls, precious stones or metals||6.75||Fertilizers||8.59|
|4||Organic chemicals||6.41||Ores, slag and ash||8.33|
|5||Woven clothing and apparel articles||5.66||Paper and paperboard||6.22|
|6||Pharmaceutical products||5.47||Mineral fuels, oils||4.28|
|7||Iron or steel articles||5.06||Boilers, mechanical appliances, etc.||4.28|
|8||Other textile articles, etc.||4.45||Aircraft and spacecraft||4.28|
|9||Knitted or crocheted apparel||4.16||Woodpulp; paper or paperboard scraps||4.17|
|10||Electrical machinery and equipment||3.64||Electrical machinery and equipment||1.68|
|% of Total from India||56.94||% of Total To India||90.23|
|Indian Imports as % of total Canadian imports||0.74||Indian Exports as % of total Canadian exports||0.88|
Resident diplomatic missions
As both countries are members of the Commonwealth of Nations, Canada and India exchange high commissioners rather than ambassadors.
- Canada has a high commission in New Delhi and consulates-general in Bengaluru, Chandigarh and Mumbai.
- India has a high commission in Ottawa and consulates-general in Toronto and Vancouver.
Air Canada operates non-stop flights from Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver to Delhi, and from Toronto to Mumbai. In September 2019, Air India resumed its nonstop flights from Delhi to Toronto, and in October 2020 began scheduled flights from Delhi to Vancouver. Indian carrier Vistara has expressed interest in flying nonstop from Delhi to Toronto as its first North American destination, while Canadian carrier WestJet has noted India as part of its expansion plans with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. In May 2022, Union Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia met with Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra to discuss an open skies policy between the two countries. This would allow unlimited flights between Canada and India. 
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