ANNE Kang, Minister of Citizens’ Services and responsible for Multiculturalism, in response to the increase in hate crimes and incidents towards people of East Asian heritage in B.C., on Friday said in a statement: “I am deeply saddened by the recent rise in racially motivated physical and verbal attacks and vandalism against people of Asian heritage in our province since the COVID-19 outbreak. The Vancouver Police Department reported an increase in hate crimes and hate-motivated incidents for March and April, and the majority of those disturbing incidents had an anti-Asian element.
“I cannot remain silent. As someone who moved to Canada from Taiwan, I am outraged that anyone would engage in acts of discrimination, hate or violence. I am compelled as a government representative, immigrant and British Columbian to speak out against these vicious acts.
“COVID-19 is impacting all of us. These are unprecedented challenging times, but I want to be clear – acts of violence and aggression will not be tolerated. There is absolutely no place for hate in our society.
“Chinese Canadians have deep roots in this province. Over many generations, Chinese Canadians have worked alongside all British Columbians to build the vibrant, multicultural society we enjoy today. Now is a time to stand together and condemn these actions that seek to divide.
“Kindness will bring us through this global health crisis stronger than ever as we work to build a more inclusive and welcoming province. Our communities get stronger when we treat each other as we want to be treated. More than ever, it is critical we are intentional about being supportive, understanding and respectful to one another. We must speak up when we witness racism.
“Our government has created new programs to protect, defend and uphold B.C.’s multicultural society. We recently established the Resilience BC anti-racism network, a hub and spoke model designed to connect communities throughout the province with information, supports and training to assist them in addressing racism, intolerance and hate.
“We are investing $540,000 annually in Resilience BC. Earlier this month, we selected the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society as the hub provider, and any community organizations interested in leading anti-racism and anti-hate efforts as a Resilience BC community spoke are encouraged to submit proposals by May 19, 2020.
“If you are a victim or witness a hate activity, I encourage you to report the incident to your local police. We must look out for each other, show kindness and demonstrate through our words and actions that hate has no place in B.C.”