Brampton Councillor Harkirat Singh’s vote against naming park for Queen sparks racism, embarasses South Asians

BRAMPTON Councillor Harkirat Singh said at a recent Council meeting that he couldn’t support naming a park for the Queen because she isn’t a Bramptonian. He was the only one to object to that in a 9-1 vote.

The Brampton Guardian posted a story with the telling headline “Brampton councillor behind Guru Nanak street push objects to naming park for Queen Elizabeth.”

Harkirat Singh’s action has led to a wave of resentment against Sikhs – so much so that the local paper had to disable commenting on the story “due to violations of the terms of use.” That is a way of stating that there had been a flood of hateful comments against the councillor and his background.

South Asians are shaking their heads in disbelief at what they consider a ridiculous stand by Harkirat Singh that was bound to spark racism, especially against Sikhs.

Singh’s justification – “I can’t support this because from a naming perspective I believe there is very rare opportunities for local citizens. We have people doing remarkable things locally, and I think when we give it away, whether its prime ministers or the Queen, we lose ability to name these assets after local people” – is seen as totally absurd if not insane because Guru Nanak was not a local Brampton person either.

The decision to name a future park in honour of the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s reign was made by council in 2012, as the United Kingdom and Commonwealth nations celebrated the milestone, the Brampton Guardian noted.