The province is allocating $1.9 million to address racism and expand multiculturalism in B.C. as part of its COVID-19 economic recovery.
From January to September, hate crime incidents increased 116 per cent and anti-Asian hate crime increased by 878 per cent over the same time period last year, according to crime statistics released by the Vancouver Police Department on Oct. 27.
“One of the most devastating side effects of COVID-19 has been the increase of racism and hate crimes across B.C.,” said Rachna Singh, parliamentary secretary for anti-racism initiatives. “There is no place for racism and hate in British Columbia. That’s why we are investing resources to make communities in all corners of the province more welcoming and inclusive.”
The funding will support four initiatives, including a one-time expansion and enhancement of the Resilience BC anti racism network; a public education campaign; a one-time multiculturalism grant program and an institutional change program to address systemic discrimination, according to the province.
“This additional funding will be a tremendous support in helping communities address the recent surge in hate and racism during the pandemic, enhancing the work of the Resilience BC anti-racism network towards creating a safe, more inclusive and welcoming province for everyone,” said David Lau, executive director of the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society.
The province launched Resilience BC last year — an anti-racism network that aims to strengthen communities’ capacity to combat hate crimes. The network is active in more than 50 communities, according to the province.