Premier David Eby and Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives, have released the following statement in honour of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination:
“The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recognizes that the injustices and prejudices fuelled by racial discrimination take place every day. The day is observed annually in memory of the 69 people who were killed in 1960 during a peaceful demonstration against apartheid, a racist policy that governed relations between white people and racialized people in South Africa. Although the legislation was repealed by the early 1990s, the social and economic repercussions of the discriminatory policy continue to this day.
“Similarly, Indigenous, Black and racialized people in B.C. and Canada continue to be harmed by the intergenerational impacts of residential schools, internment camps, slavery and other forms of cultural genocide. Despite the ways in which the diversity of people, cultures, ethnicities and religions enhance and improve our province, systemic racism, discrimination and hate still affect people in our communities every day.
“Our government is committed to addressing these issues. We’re working to dismantle systemic racism in government programs and services through the Anti-Racism Data Act. To improve equity throughout the public school system, we recently introduced a K-12 Anti-Racism Action Plan, and we’re supporting community-led efforts to address hate and support anti-racism initiatives through the Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network.
“We know there’s more work ahead. We are fortunate to have dedicated people and organizations who are championing multiculturalism and diversity in their communities.
“Today, we’ll be recognizing some of these anti-racism heroes at the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards. We hope the inspiring stories of this year’s award winners will encourage more people to promote and protect diversity and work together to build a more inclusive and welcoming province for everyone. ”