Draft Sanctuary City Policy: Access to City Facilities, Programs and Services for All Residents, Regardless of Immigration Status

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Consultation has concluded

Project Update, July 12 2021: Council, at its July 12, 2021 meeting, adopted the Sanctuary City Policy and implementation plan. Click here to review the adopted policy and click here to review the implementation plan.

Click here to access the Council report, including attachments, click here to view the PowerPoint slide deck and click here to watch the Council presentation and discussion from the July 12 meeting.


Project Update, July 2021: The Engagement Summary Report is now available! Check out the summary of the engagement process, and what we heard.


The City of New Westminster has developed a draft Sanctuary City Policy that is intended to make sure that all residents, regardless of their immigration status, know they are welcome to access City facilities, programs and services – and that while doing so, they will not be asked for information about their immigration status. If information about their immigration status is inadvertently shared with City staff, this information will not be shared with other institutions or levels of government.

If approved by Council, this policy would apply to facilities, programs and services directly provided by the City of New Westminster and would let the community know that all residents have equal access to the City. While this policy will not apply to policing, the New Westminster Police Department will be developing their own policy and/or guidelines in support of the objectives of this policy.

Why do we need a policy?

New Westminster is home to many immigrants. In fact, more than one-third of New Westminster residents are immigrants or refugees. While most people enter and remain in Canada through government processes, some residents are here with no, with uncertain or with precarious immigration status for a variety of reasons. Residents in these circumstances may be hesitant to use City facilities, programs and services because of fear, and/or because they may think they are not permitted to do so.

This policy would let residents of New Westminster who may be in this situation know that they are encouraged to participate in all the City has to offer, and that the City is committed to ensuring that they feel safe and welcome when they do so.

Development of a Sanctuary City Policy for New Westminster was requested by Council in a motion in January 2019.

What are the next steps?

We are currently working to connect with community members who have lived and living experience of precarious immigration status, in a final round of consultation. Following the current consultation, all feedback will be considered and the draft policy updated. The finalized policy will then be presented to Council for consideration of approval.

How can I provide feedback?

The feedback period has now closed. Thank you to those who provided comments. We invite you to review the draft policy in full – click here.

Project Update, July 12 2021: Council, at its July 12, 2021 meeting, adopted the Sanctuary City Policy and implementation plan. Click here to review the adopted policy and click here to review the implementation plan.

Click here to access the Council report, including attachments, click here to view the PowerPoint slide deck and click here to watch the Council presentation and discussion from the July 12 meeting.


Project Update, July 2021: The Engagement Summary Report is now available! Check out the summary of the engagement process, and what we heard.


The City of New Westminster has developed a draft Sanctuary City Policy that is intended to make sure that all residents, regardless of their immigration status, know they are welcome to access City facilities, programs and services – and that while doing so, they will not be asked for information about their immigration status. If information about their immigration status is inadvertently shared with City staff, this information will not be shared with other institutions or levels of government.

If approved by Council, this policy would apply to facilities, programs and services directly provided by the City of New Westminster and would let the community know that all residents have equal access to the City. While this policy will not apply to policing, the New Westminster Police Department will be developing their own policy and/or guidelines in support of the objectives of this policy.

Why do we need a policy?

New Westminster is home to many immigrants. In fact, more than one-third of New Westminster residents are immigrants or refugees. While most people enter and remain in Canada through government processes, some residents are here with no, with uncertain or with precarious immigration status for a variety of reasons. Residents in these circumstances may be hesitant to use City facilities, programs and services because of fear, and/or because they may think they are not permitted to do so.

This policy would let residents of New Westminster who may be in this situation know that they are encouraged to participate in all the City has to offer, and that the City is committed to ensuring that they feel safe and welcome when they do so.

Development of a Sanctuary City Policy for New Westminster was requested by Council in a motion in January 2019.

What are the next steps?

We are currently working to connect with community members who have lived and living experience of precarious immigration status, in a final round of consultation. Following the current consultation, all feedback will be considered and the draft policy updated. The finalized policy will then be presented to Council for consideration of approval.

How can I provide feedback?

The feedback period has now closed. Thank you to those who provided comments. We invite you to review the draft policy in full – click here.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

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