Slain journalist remembered at Surrey Gurdwara service

SURREY — The murders last month of two Canadian soldiers by extremists show that Canada is still not immune from terrorism 16 years after the assassination of journalist Tara Singh Hayer, his son said Sunday.

Former Liberal MLA Dave Hayer told a memorial service for his father that the attack on Parliament Hill and the murders of Nathan Cirillo and Patrice Vincent are a reminder that extremism still exists in Canada.

"When we talk about terrorism in Canada, this is not new what we are experiencing now," Hayer told hundreds gathered at Surrey’s Brookside Gurdwara.

"We can’t have people from other parts of the world brainwashing our kids, our people here, to do their dirty work, especially with terrorist acts like what we experienced at the parliament buildings just recently. Sadly enough, we lost two soldiers."

Tara Hayer, the publisher of the Indo-Canadian Times, was shot to death in his Guildford garage on Nov. 18, 1998 after exposing those behind the 1985 Air India bombing in his newspaper.

His dad had received death threats for years, but still continued to write against extremism even after he was paralyzed in a 1988 attempt on his life, Hayer recalled.

While police identified suspects in the 1998 murder with links to the Babbar Khalsa terrorist group, no one has ever been charged. Tara Hayer is believed to be the only journalist ever assassinated in Canada.

Liberal MLA Ralph Sultan also said what happened in Ottawa last month shows "there are still people in our society who are quite prepared to use violence, killing, threats and intimidation to accomplish what they think is the proper agenda."

"I think this day is a reminder to all of us that these people have no place in our country," Sultan said.

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