Last year, the City of Vancouver took a step in the right direction when it passed its Access to City Services Without Fear policy. It ensures that municipal staff at Fire and Rescue services, Community Services including Street and Homeless Outreach, Utilities and Public Works, and Information services such as 3-1-1, will not ask for any information on anyone’s immigration status and, should they find out, will not pass it on to other public institutions (namely the Canadian Border Services Agency). While this is a good first step, the policy does not apply to the Vancouver Police Department. We demand that it does.
Vancouver needs to call on our police to stop identifying and sharing anyone’s immigration status, as in other Sanctuary cities like San Francisco.
We need proper training for all staff so they are fully aware of the policy and that they proactively create an environment that’s inviting to those without status.