Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives, has released the following statement in celebration of Latin American Heritage Month:
“Since first arriving in British Columbia during the Gold Rush of 1858, Latin Americans have brought a diversity and richness to communities throughout the province.
“There are now approximately 40,000 Canadians of Latin American descent in the Lower Mainland, and others throughout British Columbia. The community enhances the cultural landscape of British Columbia by sharing their art, culture, music, cuisine, entrepreneurial ideas, social justice and talents. We are grateful for their contributions, which make the province more socially and economically diverse.
“I would also like to give thanks to the many Mexican firefighters who supported our provincial firefighting efforts during this year’s devastating fire season, and in previous years. We remain grateful for your efforts to keep the people of this province safe.
“While this month is a time for celebration, we know that systemic racism continues to impact the Latin American community, and that they have also experienced discrimination throughout the pandemic. We remain committed to addressing the challenges faced by the community, as we pave the way toward a more equitable, inclusive province for all British Columbians.
“As we celebrate Latin American Heritage Month this October, I encourage you to take the time to see what’s happening in your community and learn more about the various cultures and traditions that Canadians of Latin American descent bring to our province.”