Marchers supporting Indian farmers rallied in Surrey last month, from Bear Creek Park to Holland Park along King George Boulevard. (File photo: Tom Zillich)

Marchers supporting Indian farmers rallied in Surrey last month, from Bear Creek Park to Holland Park along King George Boulevard. (File photo: Tom Zillich)

Surrey MP says mayor’s motion to support Indian farmers is his to make

“He has his own sovereignty, right,” Sukh Dhaliwal says

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum’s motion asking council to “stand in solidarity” with farmers in India, who have been protesting against what they say are repressive laws brought in by the Indian government, will be dealt with at council’s next meeting on April 26 after he tried unsuccessfully to have it fast-tracked on Monday.

McCallum said on April 12 he needed council’s unanimous support to deal with it on that night, but Councillor Brenda Locke did not give her consent, saying “proper protocol in this case is that this is a notice of motion.

“I would prefer that,” she said. “I think this is a serious issue for people of Surrey, many of them, and I know, I have been to the Punjab, I do know how hard-working the Indian farmers are so I do recognize the plight of the Indian farmer and I certainly want to give it our best due diligence in reviewing this item.”

On April 6, McCallum issued a press release noting that “many residents of Surrey have family and friends in India who have been adversely impacted by the farming bill passed in their ancestral land.

READ ALSO GUEST COLUMN: Why Canadians should care about India’s farm bills

READ ALSO: Delta council stands in solidarity with protesting Indian farmers

”The changes affecting the farmers in India threaten their livelihood and their protests have been met with a heavy hand by the Government of India,” McCallum stated. “With April being Sikh Heritage Month in BC and also marking Vaisakhi, one of the most important celebrations in the Sikh faith, it is timely and fitting that city Council supports this important issue that affects so many of Surrey’s Indian community. I ask all of council to join me in this motion and show that Surrey stands in solidarity with the farmers in India.”

For many months now Surrey residents of Indian decent have been staging street corner protests and car rallies in Surrey and elsewhere in the Lower Mainland in support of farmers on the subcontinent.

READ ALSO: ‘It won’t end’: Protesters march for Indian farmers at another Surrey rally, with more to come

READ ALSO: Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Sukh Dhaliwal, Liberal MP for Surrey-Newton, said he advocates for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Dhaliwal is the author of Bill C-376, introduced in 2017, to designate April as Sikh Heritage Month.

“Mayor McCallum has his own jurisdiction, his own sovereignty, so basically whatever suits him, I think this is the way. What we have always said is people have to make decisions on the different orders of government on their own. So he’s making a decision, you know, good luck to him,” Dhaliwal told the Now-Leader. “He has his own sovereignty, right.”

McCallum’s motion aside, Dhaliwal said it’s his position that the right to peacefully protest, “and peacefully asking these demands for dialogue, is a fundamental human right, so that is what should be respected and that’s what we believe in, we believed in it from day one and I believe in it today.”

Randeep Sarai, Liberal MP for Surrey Centre, said he’s “thankful” to McCallum for his motion “as the right to protest freely is a fundamental human right and all democracies should always support that right.”

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram  and follow Tom on Twitter

City of SurreyFarmingIndiaPolitics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Surrey Board of Trade is calling on the provincial government to implement a temporary paid sick-leave program. ( photo by Kelly Sikkema)
Surrey Board of Trade calls for temporary paid sick-leave program

Reccomendations sent to provincial labour minister, news release notes

North Surrey Sport and Ice Complex. (Photo:
North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex earns B.C. facility excellence award

Award is among four presented by BC Recreation and Parks Association

Low tide offered plenty of space for people to relax on White Rock's beach Sunday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
City of White Rock asking outside visitors to stay away

South Surrey residents encouraged to visit, while others urged to stick close to home

Surrey Central SkyTrain Station. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Suspect accused of ‘abhorrent’ assaults at Surrey SkyTrain stations

Transit Police say assaults were on April 9, 14 and 17

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

Ripy Jubbal of Abbotsford has received a 30-month jail sentence for the fraudulent use of credit cards and credit card data. (Facebook photo)
Abbotsford woman sentenced for $80K in fraudulent credit card purchases

Ripy Jubbal and spouse used identities of 19 different victims, court hears

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

A picture of Shirley Ann Soosay was rendered from a postmortem photographer and circulated on social media. (DDP graphic)
B.C. genealogist key to naming murder victim in decades-old California cold case

In July 1980, Shirley Ann Soosay was raped and stabbed to death

Most Read