Singhland Of British Columbia
- Statistics Canada reported for 2008 that 20,000 of the 29,870 farm operators in British Columbia are Sikh. They own three-fourths of the agricultural land in the state.
- Farmland here costs more than $100,000 per acre.
- Sikhs grow strawberries, blueberries, raspberries in the Fraser Valley, and apples, apricots, cherries in neighbouring Okanagan Valley.
- 1,50,000 Sikhs live in British Columbia. At least 1,00,000 are in the agriculture sector.
- Sikh farmhands are often related to Sikh farm owners who exploit their own kin through feudal behaviour, often paying them less than the stipulated $8.50/hour minimum wage. Few complain.
- Overall, one million people of Indian origin are in Canada. They are wrongly called East Indians. Most Indo-Canadians (4,84,666 by 2006 figures) live in the Greater Toronto Area.
- There are 10 Canadian MPs of Indian origin.
***The extraordinarily delicious berries of the Canadian province of British Columbia beckon you to Fraser Valley, just over 100 km away from Vancouver. Travel 400 km into the interior, and the blueberry and strawberry farms give way to orchards of plump cherries, apricots, apples—much of the fruit grown and harvested by Sikh farmers of Indian origin.
They now account for three-fourths of the farms in Surrey, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission in Fraser Valley. Inland, in the Okanagan Valley, half of all farmers can trace their roots back to Punjab. These Sikh farmers are taking over the land that Canadians are selling at whopping prices before migrating to urban centres.
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