Mayoral candidate Jim Cessford and council candidate Sandeep Pandher are vowing to have Delta join the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination if elected, in an effort to help members of the community who feel isolated or ignored.
The candidates, both running under the Independents Working for You banner, said in a release that many Deltans feel isolated, “especially in North Delta, where Indo-Canadians tell us that they do not have a voice and they feel ignored by city hall.”
To combat this, Cessford said he would work to have Delta join the Canadian coalition (CCMARD) in order to learn from other municipalities and strengthen policies to counter discrimination.
Currently, 73 municipalities across Canada are part of the coalition. Together, they work to improve their practices to promote social inclusion, establish policies to eradicate all forms of racism and discrimination, and promote human rights and diversity.
“Through the implementation of a CCMARD plan of action and the creation of an inclusive community we will have an enriched, safer and improved community life; improved service delivery; and reduced incidence of discrimination,” Cessford said in the release.
“We will be better prepared and more effective in our response should an incident of discrimination occur.”
Pandher agreed, saying this sort of plan would benefit Delta youth who find themselves without a voice, as a CCMARD membership would allow Delta to participate on the youth advisory group that works with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.
“There are many benefits for our city in taking this initiative,” Pandher said. “We are accepting our role as guardian of the public interest, an organization that is fulfilling our human rights obligations, and as a community we are sharing responsibility for respecting and promoting human rights and diversity.”
The civic election will take place on Oct. 20.