Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs, has released the following statement to mark World Refugee Day on Sunday, June 20, 2021:
“On World Refugee Day, we honour the courage, strength and resilience of people around the world who have fled their homes, leaving their communities and often their loved ones, to escape conflict and persecution.
“Today and every day, we stand up for refugees and welcome them as friends and neighbours as we work together to make our communities stronger through greater diversity and resilience.
“We are committed to building an inclusive province, safe and free of hate. Tackling systemic discrimination in all its forms is included in every minister’s mandate letter, and every ministry has a role. We know there is more work to do to address the systemic discrimination and intolerance that many racialized British Columbians face. This includes work currently underway to introduce B.C.’s first anti-racism act and to develop race-based data collection to help identify where gaps and barriers exist, so we can provide better, more equitable services to people and communities.
“The pandemic has created additional barriers for people in search of a safe, secure and prosperous future. We are grateful for the essential services community organizations have provided throughout this challenging time and the innovation and perseverance they’ve demonstrated to ensure vital supports continue to be available for refugees and all newcomers to British Columbia.
“Our government’s priority is to ensure everyone who arrives in our province has the best chance for success and prosperity. I want to thank local governments and British Columbians for their many efforts to ensure newcomers find a home in welcoming communities, where they can live dignified, healthy and safe lives, with the resources and supports they need.
“On World Refugee Day, we recognize the important contributions refugees make to our province and celebrate their perseverance and accomplishments in building new lives for their families in B.C.
“As we emerge from this pandemic together, newcomers will be essential in building a stronger, more resilient province that is equitable and inclusive for everyone.”