An 11-member Advance Liaison Team, led by Canada’s Chief of Protocol Roy Brent Norton, visited Amritsar on Sunday for a reconnaissance site visit as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is likely to visit Golden Temple during his India visit early next year.
Trudeau’s Cabinet has four ministers having roots in Punjab. As per a diplomatic note dated October 9, 2017, Trudeau is scheduled to visit India from February 19 to February 23, 2018.The advance team is undertaking reconnaissance site visits in India from December 15 to December 22 to the places Trudeau is likely to visit.
Trudeau is scheduled to visit India on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invite.
Besides Norton, other members of advance team included Deputy High Commissioner for Canada to India Soyoung Park, Canadian Prime Minister’s Office Director of Operations John Warren Zerucelli, Canadian PMO Senior Lead Advance Adam George Grech and Lead Media Advance Thierry Guillon, Protocol Office Visits Coordinator Frederic Huot Bolduc, Protocol Office Visits Officer Andre Talbot Robitaille, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Inspector Steeves Veilleux, Canada’s Consul General at Chandigarh Christopher Gibbins, Canadian High Commission Police Liaison Officer Counsellor Sam Ismail and Senior Consular Program Officer Jaswinder Baljeet. Gibbins, sources said, had reached Amritsar on Saturday itself. The team held a detailed meeting with Amritsar Deputy Commissioner on Sunday and visited Golden Temple.
Ministry of External Affairs Protocol Officer Gajraj Bhati said it was only an initial visit and the team will take a call where all Canadian PM will go.
“The team will go back and announce what to do. They will inform us officially,” Bhati said, adding that depending on the call Canada takes, Trudeau “may or may not” visit Golden Temple. He said, if it was decided that Canadian PM will visit Golden Temple, Punjab government will be informed in advance.