Premier John Horgan has issued the following statement to mark World Refugee Day on Saturday, June 20, 2020:
“To be a refugee is to flee violence, persecution and oppression. It takes courage and resilience to leave one’s home, loved ones and everything familiar to seek safety.
“On World Refugee Day, we honour those who have faced great risk to find a better life. In British Columbia, we commit to building a province that not only provides sanctuary for asylum seekers and refugees, but empowers newcomers to create the life they dream of.
“Recent events around the world and at home remind us that we have more work to do to make B.C. a safe, inclusive place for everyone – free of racism, violence and hate. Racism is deeply rooted in our colonial history and institutions. Now is the time to hear the experiences of racialized people and commit to the hard work it will take to build a more equitable future where everyone is not only safe, but able to thrive.
“Our government has taken steps toward realizing this goal. We have re-established B.C.’s Human Rights Commission to protect and defend human rights. We have launched Resilience BC, a new anti-racism network that targets racism, discrimination and hate in communities around the province. And we are investing in programs to help newcomers settle with success.
“Since 2018, we have expanded settlement services by more than 60%, helping thousands more immigrants and refugees find good jobs and build better lives. To help remove barriers to employment, we are working to make it easier and fairer for professional credentials to be recognized in B.C., and we’ve made English language learning programs more accessible.
“Multiculturalism strengthens British Columbia’s communities. We are a province of people from all around the world. Let us recommit to our values of diversity and inclusion, and work to make sure our province is a safe, welcoming home for refugees and newcomers from all walks of life.”
For a French translation, visit: http://news.gov.bc.ca/files/6-20-20_WorldRefugeeDay_FR.pdf
For a Chinese translation, visit: http://news.gov.bc.ca/files/6-20-20_WorldRefugeeDay_CN.pdf
For a Punjabi translation, visit: http://news.gov.bc.ca/files/6-20-20_WorldRefugeeDay_PJ.pdf