Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

August 01, 2009 16:15 ET

Government of Canada Announces Members of Indo-Canadian Advisory Committee for Historical Recognition Projects

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 1, 2009) - Three individuals have been named to the newly formed Indo-Canadian Advisory Committee for the Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP).

The three-member committee is chaired by Mr. Jack Uppal. The other members are Dr. Ratna Ghosh (Vice-chair) and Mr. Iqbal Gill. The committee met for the first time on June 29th to begin reviewing submitted proposals for projects that recognize the experiences of the community. The committee will provide advice to the Minister on the merit of the proposals.

Mr. Uppal is a successful business person and community leader, often described as one of the most prominent figures in Canada's South Asian community.

Dr. Ghosh is a professor at McGill University and is a Member of the Order of Canada.

Mr. Gill is a teacher with the Peel District School Board and serves as the chief editor of Khabarnama, a weekly newspaper focused on the Punjabi-Canadian community.

"These three individuals have demonstrated great leadership and made major contributions on issues important to their community," said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. "The advice they are providing on the merit of eligible Indo-Canadian Community Historical Recognition Program projects is extremely valuable."

The CHRP, announced in 2006 and launched in 2008, is a grants and contributions program for community-based commemorative and educational projects related to historical immigration restrictions and wartime measures that were applied in Canada.

A total of $2.5 million is available to the Indo-Canadian community for projects related to the Komagata Maru incident of 1914, such as monuments, commemorative plaques, educational materials and exhibits. The Komagata Maru was a ship that arrived in Vancouver harbour carrying approximately 376 East Indian passengers, most of whom were not allowed to land because the ship did not make a continuous journey to Canada, as prescribed by Canadian immigration regulations at the time.

"This Government believes it is important for all Canadians to learn about our history. These important projects enable the communities affected to undertake meaningful commemorative and educational activities to ensure that their experiences are shared with others," said Minister Kenney.

Members of the Indo-Canadian Advisory Committee are appointed for a two-year term with the option of an additional two-year term.

For biographies on the three Indo-Canadian Advisory Committee members, please see Backgrounder (

Contact Information

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Alykhan Velshi
    Minister's Office
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Media Relations Unit
    Communications Branch
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Ben Letts
    Regional Spokesperson - BC Region