New Westminster City passes motion opposing India’s Citizens Amendment Act

THE City of New Westminster on Monday passed a motion that called India’s Citizenship Amendment Act “regressive” and “discriminatory” and asked the federal government to oppose it. It also called on the Canadian Parliament to support “the pluralist coexistence of all residents of India regardless of culture, religion or caste.”

The motion was moved by Councillor Chuck Puchmayr on March 9 and was approved more than four months later in a 5-1 vote, with one city councillor absent. The delay was because of the COVID-19 situation.

The motion

Motion in opposition of the Citizens Amendment Act, India
Whereas the City of New Westminster, is one of the most multicultural cities in North America;>
And whereas our community prides itself on providing a safe and inclusive community for all citizens and residents including the diverse cultures and religions from around the world;
And whereas our city is showing leadership in reconciliation with our Indigenous community, while welcoming new immigrants and refugees who are seeking a better life for their families while fleeing war torn countries;
And whereas the City of New Westminster now raises serious concerns with the Government of India’s December 11 2019 passing of the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) which clearly discriminates against Muslims and has sparked fatal attacks on Muslims inside India;
And whereas the CAA does not provide for marginalized Muslim Indians living in poverty who have no current documents, an ability to register as Indian citizens, putting them at risk of incarceration and/or deportation;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the City of New Westminster asks the Federal government to take a position in opposition of the regressive, discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act, and that the Parliament of Canada supports the pluralist coexistence of all residents of India regardless of culture, religion or caste.

Chuck Puchmayr

New Westminster, B.C.