BC Liberals push for more action on hate crimes

VICTORIA (February 19, 2021) – Following a massive spike in anti-Asian hate crimes in Vancouver over the last year, the BC Liberals are reiterating their earlier calls for substantive action in combatting the epidemic of race-related attacks.

“During the pandemic, we have witnessed acts of racism and hate targeting people of Asian descent and British Columbians are deeply concerned about the shocking statistics now emerging that indicate a 717 per cent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in Vancouver,” said Leader of the Official Opposition Shirley Bond. “Last year, we put forward substantive suggestions to the government that would help combat the rise in hate crimes. We re-affirm our commitment to working across party lines to do all that we can to prevent these terrible acts and build a better British Columbia where everyone feels safe, respected, and valued.”

The BC Liberals are once again calling on the government to:

• Create a hotline with multilingual services for British Columbians to report racist incidents;
• Increase funding to multiculturalism and anti-racism programs;
• Develop more educational tools and resources for the K-12 education curriculum to combat racism and educate students about the contributions of Asian Canadians to B.C.;
• Ensure local police forces have sufficient resources to respond quickly and fully investigate hate crimes and racist incidents; and
• Ensure that the Attorney General’s Crown Prosecution service treats racist incidents as a priority for charge determinations and prosecutions.

“Our community needs more than just words of support. Government can and should do more to help safeguard those feeling targeted and unsafe in B.C. right now. Together, we must continue to stand up and oppose the racist acts we’re seeing because they do not represent who we are or the province we wish to build for future generations,” added MLA Teresa Wat, BC Liberal Critic for Tourism, Arts & Culture, & Anti-Racism Initiatives. “It’s so important that we work to encourage all British Columbians to recognize and respond to racist behaviours in our communities and work to foster tolerance, inclusion, and respect for everyone who calls British Columbia home.”

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