ANNE Kang, Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism, issued the following statement on Sunday in honour of B.C. Multiculturalism Week, November 17-23:
“B.C. Multiculturalism Week celebrates the ways our lives are made better by the incredible diversity of the people in our province. I am so grateful to live in a place where people from all over the world have chosen to put down roots and share their cultures with each other. This week is also an opportunity to think about how we can all contribute to greater understanding, respect and appreciation for everyone in British Columbia. For me, that starts with connection – connection to the history of B.C., our individual heritages and with each other.
“I’m grateful to live and work on the territories of Indigenous peoples, who have lived on these lands for thousands of years. I acknowledge and respect their diverse cultures and deep connections to the land. Together with Indigenous peoples, our government continues the journey forward on reconciliation to make life better for everyone in B.C.
“I’m also thinking about the people who have settled or immigrated since the early 19th century and built their lives here, many of whom faced great hardships in coming to this new place. As a first generation Canadian, I realize the courage it takes for people to leave their homes behind in search of new opportunities and a better life for their families. Today, we are so lucky to be able to experience the cultural mosaic of a province that is home to people who trace their origins to more than 200 countries or regions.
“This Multiculturalism Week, I encourage everyone in B.C. to find ways to learn about and build connections with people from cultures and backgrounds different from their own. Whenever I am invited to celebrate significant events with communities, I learn so much about new histories, traditions, perspectives and ways of life. But I’m always struck by how, despite our differences, we all want the same things. We all want to feel safe and included, and free to express ourselves. These are the connections that tie us together.
“When I think about the future, I am filled with hope that our children will grow up in a world where everyone feels valued and respected. As B.C.’s newly appointed parliamentary secretary for multiculturalism, I am committed to doing everything I can to uphold and protect B.C.’s cultural diversity. I hope you will join me in celebrating Multiculturalism Week in B.C. and stand with us as we work to create to a province that is open, welcoming and inclusive, and free of racism, hate and discrimination.”