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Joint statement on Asian Heritage Month

May 1, 2024 at 8:38 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Niki Sharma, Attorney General, and Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives, have released the following statement marking Asian Heritage Month:

“May is Asian Heritage Month in B.C. and a chance for us to celebrate the numerous contributions Asian Canadians have made to our province.

“B.C.’s Asian diaspora is as diverse as the countries from which it originates. Starting in 1788, thousands of people from as many as 50 countries in Asia have come to these shores in search of new beginnings, safety and prosperity. They played a pivotal role in shaping much of this province’s culture, traditions and economy – giving B.C. world-famous landmarks, such as Vancouver’s Chinatown and Punjabi Market, and icons such as award-winning architect Raymond Moriyama and pioneering geneticist Irene Uchida.

“However, despite these contributions, Asian newcomers have often been met with hostility and sometimes even violent hate. Most recently, during the peak of the pandemic, B.C. witnessed a sharp rise in anti-Asian sentiment and hate crimes that persist today. These acts can have a long-term impact on people’s well-being. They have also left many fearing for their safety in the communities they call home. This is unacceptable.

“In the face of this adversity, we must remember how powerful we are when we stand united against hate. Our diversity is one of our greatest strengths and we must continue to fight back against those who would suggest otherwise.

“This Asian Heritage Month, we encourage everyone to visit local museums, libraries and festivals to learn more about and celebrate our province’s Asian histories and cultures. Through learning and understanding, we can develop more empathy for each other – and empathy is at the core of any anti-racism effort.

“Happy Asian Heritage Month!”

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