India and Canada signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Toronto late last month. In an e-mail interview, Ernie Regehr, a Centre for International Governance Innovation fellow, co-founder of Project Ploughshares, and adjunct associate professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Conrad Grebel University College, explains broader India-Canada relations.
WPR: How would you characterize India-Canada bilateral relations, historically?
Ernie Regehr: India-Canada relations are remarkably modest considering the rather compelling circumstances that surround them. They share membership in the British Commonwealth. They are both politically resilient democracies. There are more than a million people of Indian descent in Canada. And both countries have impressive peacekeeping traditions. Yet, none of these factors generated the kind of relationship that was justifiably expected in the 1950s, when the friendship between Canadian Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent and Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, as well as the nuclear cooperation agreement they signed in 1955, symbolized the promise of things to come.