THE Burnaby City Council passed a motion on April 24 to add caste as a protected category in its equity policy framework.
The Executive Committee of Council, at its meeting held on April 5, had received correspondence from the Chetna Association of Canada, advising that on February 21 the City of Seattle banned caste-based discrimination in businesses and other public settings.
“The Committee expressed concern that casteism, a social hierarchy passed down through families that has been outlawed in India since 1948, is still being practiced in Canada and where some South Asian populations exist,” councillors Sav Dhaliwal and Richard T. Lee wrote to the mayor and councillors on their “Proposed update to the City of Burnaby Equity Policy.”
It added : “Arising from discussion, the Committee passed a motion requesting Council include “caste” as a protected category in the existing Equity Policy framework.
“As the Equity Policy is currently under review by Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)
staff, a report and updated policy will be brought forward to Council as soon as
The Chetna Association of Canada congratulated the City of Burnaby for providing this leadership and being the first city in Canada to pass such a motion.
The association pointed out that the City of Burnaby is also the first city in Canada to proclaim April 15 as Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Day of Equality.