Less ‘contentious’ vote predicted for Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara election

Published: December 11, 2012


Worshippers attend the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Temple on 120th Street in Surrey, B.C. in this file photo. Ric Ernst/PNG

The election underway at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara should be less “contentious” than previous years.

The election of a new executive committee comes every three years and in the past, parties often wound up in court-appointed elections.

“It’s always been kind of contentious,” said current director Sukhminder Virk — who is not running for re-election.

This year, the gurdwara society hired Ron Laufer to “run the election independently, so there’s no need to go to court.”

Virk believes this demonstrates the society is making progress towards better self-governance.

“(They’re) taking steps to be able to run its own election,” he said. “(And) the best way to prove to all parties that the election is going to be fair is to hire a third party to run the election.”

Two slates are running for the executive committee, the Chhina and Youth Sikh slates.

Chhina Slate

The 18-member slate is made up of all new members and listed as the “B.C. moderate Sikh society,” with Jasminder Kaur Chhina running for president.

Their election manifesto promises to make every attempt to unite Canadian born children with Sikhism as well as make every effort to baptize Sikhs. They also hope to open a new Guru Nanak public school and to modernize the current Punjabi school. The manifesto also promises to meet the needs of seniors, offer free computer classes for all ages and to eliminate the $25 membership fee.

Sikh Youth Slate

This 18-member slate is made up of three returning members of the current committee, including treasurer, Rajinder Singh Dhaliwal, running for president.

The youth slate was voted in as executive committee in 2010 and the new committee plans to continue the programs and services the previous group started.

Their election manifesto promises to unite the community and stray from past divisions, focus on family by organizing social and family-based events. They also want to complete construction at the gurdwara, continue religious education and provide interactive activities to inspire youth to the Sikh way of life. More information can be found at their website votesikhyouth.com.

The Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Society is made up of about 22,000 members. All members can vote Sunday Dec. 16 at Princess Margeret Secondary School at 12870 72 Ave. in Surrey.

Results should be in Monday morning.


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