Multiculturalism and Inter-Cultural Relations

Hello, New Westminster

The City is working towards being one of the most welcoming and inclusive communities in British Columbia.

Over the past few decades, the face of New Westminster is changing, with more people reporting visible minority status and more people speaking a multitude of languages.

As evidence of this increasing diversity, in 2016:

  • 34.9% of the population were immigrants,
  • 34.8% of the population reported having visible minority status,
  • 14.4% of immigrants had fewer than five years of Canadian residency,
  • 3.3% of the population reported having aboriginal identity, and
  • 25.3% of residents spoke a non-official language (i.e., a language other than English or French) often at home.

Are you new to New Westminster? Please consider reading our Newcomers' Guide, which can help you get settled. 

City Responses

The City has been very active in the area of multiculturalism and inter-cultural relations. Over the past decade, it has:

  • established a Multiculturalism Advisory Committee
  • revised and operationalized the City’s Multicultural Policy
  • coordinated and implemented a Chinese Reconciliation Process
  • chaired the Welcoming and Inclusive New Westminster (WINS) Local Immigration Partnership Council
  • assisted in the development of Five-Year Strategic Plan and Local Settlement Strategy
  • developed a Century House Inclusion Project
  • hosted a Newcomers Connect Day
  • joined the Safe Harbour: Respect for All program
  • prepared a Community and Social Services Asset Map

These initiatives and others are enabling newcomers to settle and integrate into the community and to make a more immediate contribution to society.

 

Highlighted Initiatives

  • The City of New Westminster is currently working on a policy that is intended to support New Westminster residents with uncertain, precarious, undocumented or no immigration status to access City facilities, programs and services without fear that staff will ask for information about their immigration status and/or provide information about their immigration status to other institutions or orders of government.

    We are seeking feedback on the draft policy. If you were not able to join us at a community open house, please take our online survey and tell us what you think!

    Resources

    February 25, 2019, Council Report: Sanctuary City Designation: Process and Proposed Next Steps

    A community open house was held on March 10, 2020. Click here to view the display boards.

  • The City of New Westminster and the WINS Local Immigration Partnership are hosting the fourth annual Newcomers Festival and Information Fair - a welcoming, interactive and informative event for all newcomers.

    The event includes opportunities to:

    • become familiar with civic facilities, programs and services
    • connect with community, settlement and social service organizations
    • facilitate mentorship and volunteer opportunities
    • learn about their new city and how to get involved in community life
    • participate in activities to build social connections

     

    2020 NEWCOMERS FESTIVAL & INFORMATION FAIR

    Date: Saturday, April 4, 2020
    Time: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
    Location: Century House, 620 Eighth Street

  • The City has taken a leadership role in the coordination of settlement services in New Westminster. More specifically, the City chairs the Welcoming and Inclusive New Westminster (WINS) Local Immigration Partnership Council, while providing support for its various action teams and activities.

    The Council, with funding support from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, has:

    • prepared an Inventory of Settlement Services
    • developed a Five-Year Strategic Plan
    • developed a Local Settlement Strategy
    • conducted research and planning in support of a Welcome and Integration Centre
    • hosted bridging events with newcomers
       

    Resources

    WINS Local Immigration Partnership Council Backgrounder

  • The City’s Multiculturalism Advisory Committee, which advises Council on issues related to multiculturalism and inter-cultural relations, has played a central role in creating a more welcoming and inclusive community in New Westminster.

    The committee has developed a number of significant policy initiatives, including a Translation Policy Framework, and conducted extensive research and survey work to identify needs, gaps and opportunities.

    Resources

    MAC Immigrant and Refugee Survey Report and Action Plan

  • The City was the first municipality in Canada to formally acknowledge and apologize to the Chinese community for past practices which resulted in discrimination and exclusion.

    This acknowledgement and apology was part of ten steps and action in support reconciliation, which were based on a comprehensive research and consultation process.

    Resources

    Council Report June 13, 2016:   824 Agnes Street - Chinese Benevolent Association Park Visioning Consultation Report