Almost half the kabaddi players who come to Canada to play the rough sport don’t return to India.
Instead, an internal Immigration Department report reveals more than 120 professional kabaddi players in a three-year period have either vanished within Canada, applied for refugee status or been able to obtain a work visa.
The kabaddi players, most of whom come from village teams in the Punjab region of India, come to Canada to play for about $50,000 through a season of large tournaments, especially in Surrey but also in Edmonton, Calgary and the Toronto suburb of Brampton, which has a large Punjabi population.
While some Sikhs in Canada are unhappy with the way kabaddi athletes pay consultants to help them jump Canada’s visa and immigration queues, federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen says in a government document that the special visa program for the mostly Punjabi athletes “provides benefits” to Canada.
Maybe a surplus of Kabaddi players will offset the carbon tax.