Advertisements that appear in ethnic Punjabi newspapers are promoting the abortion of female foetuses among the Indian Canadian community.
"It's really, really sad that some newspapers, for the sake of money, are misleading the public. The end result is they will tell the sex of the baby so that people who don't want baby girls can abort them," said Charan Gill, the head of the Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society.
Gill said advertisements for ultrasound clinics are running in two Punjabi newspapers - the Ajit Weekly, based in Mississauga, Ontario, and the Hamdard Weekly, published weekly from Toronto, New York, Vancouver and California besides Chandigarh in India. The papers are distributed across Canada.
Andrea Mrozek, of the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, said a study last year showed an unnatural boy-girl ratio in Surrey where many Indian Canadians live.
"We found gender imbalance between boys and girls looking at census data going back to as early as 1990," said Mrozek.There were deviations in Surrey's boy-girl ratios, with 108 boys to 100 girls, he said.