VANCOUVER Mayor Kennedy Stewart on Tuesday in similar letters to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and B.C. Premier John Horgan expressed the hope that the two leaders will accelerate Canada’s and B.C.’s messages of concern for Indian farmers to the Indian government.
The letters are a follow-up of the March 31 Motion at Vancouver Council regarding “Solidarity with Indian Farmers.”
Stewart wrote: “On behalf of Vancouver City Council, I am sending this letter to request that the Government of Canada support Indian residents’ rights to peaceful protest, expression and liberty, and to accelerate the message of concern to the Indian government regarding Canada’s support for India’s farmers. This request was passed in a motion adopted unanimously by Vancouver City Council on March 31, 2021.”
He added: “The Indian government has made changes to their agricultural laws without adequately consulting farmers’ organizations and these changes, in the opinion of the farmers, are negatively impacting their livelihood by:
“* not granting minimum support price in the law;
“* allowing traders to stockpile product to create shortages in the marketplace to increase price to the consumer;
“* having dispute resolution between farmers and corporations under contract farmers handled by a committee rather than the judicial system; and
“* being met with state violence and brutality.”
Stewart said: “Vancouver City Council stands in solidarity with Indian farmers. We believe that lending our voice to support India’s farmers supports the principle that in Canada, and around the world, local farmers are indispensable to the social fabric of any country, and must be both supported and protected.
“Vancouver City Council appreciates that you have spoken in support of the democratic process and hope for a peaceful solution in regards to the farmers’ protests in India.”
To Trudeau, Stewart wrote: “It is our hope that you will accelerate Canada’s message of concern to the Indian government.”
To Horgan, he said: “It is our hope that you will accelerate the Province’s message of concern to the Indian government.”