Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism, has issued this statement today:
“In May, communities throughout British Columbia and Canada celebrate Asian Heritage Month. It’s a time to reflect on the rich history of Asian Canadians and their contributions to our province and country.
“It also provides an opportunity for all British Columbians to recognize the challenges and hardships faced by early pioneers in their efforts to build our great province into what it is today. It’s a proud legacy, one that dates back to the earliest days of Canadian history.
“This legacy and the continuing contributions of Asian Canadians continue to shape the social, political and economic landscape of the province. As our world becomes a smaller place, our diverse communities continue to grow bigger and stronger. It’s important to use that diversity to strengthen our communities.
“Asia is the largest and most populous continent on the planet with over 4 billion people, and 60% of the world’s population. The Asian community represents many countries, languages, ethnicities and traditions. Each makes its distinctive contribution to British Columbia's multicultural tapestry.
“Our province has created cultural and economic ties with countries in Asia and around the world, enabling us to forge strong partnerships. The BC Jobs Plan and the Asia Pacific Strategy signify British Columbia’s plan to look to Asia to further promote growth in our economy and our communities.
“As we all know, Canada is a country of immigrants, and British Columbia is a model society that embraces the cultures and traditions of its people with equal opportunities for all to live and prosper.
“As the most ethnically diverse province in Canada, B.C. welcomes nearly 40,000 new immigrants every year - so embracing each and every culture is vital for the prosperity of British Columbia.
“As Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism, I encourage British Columbians of all backgrounds to take part in events and festivities throughout the province in May that honour Asian Heritage Month and the contributions Asian Canadians have made to strengthen Canada’s position as a strong, vibrant and diverse nation.
“As British Columbians, we can be proud of the multiculturalism roots that run deep in our society. It is the responsibility of every one of us to ensure that it flourishes for the benefit of everyone today, and for future generations to come.”
Ministry of International Trade and
Ministry Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism