B.C.’s minister responsible for multiculturalism is speaking out on the rising number of hate crimes toward people of Asian heritage during the COVID-19 pandemic – particularly within the city of Vancouver.
In a statement released Friday (May 15), Anne Kang said she is deeply saddened by the recent rise in physical and verbal attacks, as well as an increase in vandalism.
“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,” she said.
“I am compelled as a government representative, immigrant and British Columbian to speak out against these vicious acts.”
Since the beginning of April, the Vancouver police have seen a spike in the number of reporter hate-related crimes targeting those of Asian background. Eleven incidents occurred last month, compared with 12 for all of 2019.
That includes an attack on an elderly Asian man who has dementia, as well as racist vandalism on the Chinese Cultural Centre in the Downtown Eastside.
In her statement, Kang called for kindness.
“Chinese Canadians have deep roots in this province,” she continued. “Over many generations, Chinese Canadians have worked alongside all British Columbians to build the vibrant, multicultural society we enjoy today.”
Kang also called on victims or witnesses to report hate crimes to police and urges all B.C. residents to “stand together and condemn these actions that seek to divide.”
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