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Richmond MLA launches petition for racism hotline

Teresa Wat has started a petition to get a hotline that she said was promised two years ago.
BC United MLA Teresa Wat

A Richmond opposition MLA is calling on the premier to create a hotline, something she says he promised already two years ago.

Teresa Wat, BC United MLA for Richmond North Centre, has launched a petition asking to establish the hotline so anyone who experiences racism can report it easily and receive support and access to resources.

Wat noted in a press release that the BC United party – formerly the BC Liberals – have been calling on the BC NDP government for several years to establish a racism hotline in several languages.

“The fact this promise has been ignored for two years shows the disingenuous nature of the NDP. If David Eby and the NDP can’t figure out how to get this done, then let us take it on and we’ll get it up and running within a week,” said Wat.

The BC Human Rights commissioner’s office looked into the rise of hate incidents during the pandemic, and one of the key findings was the lack of data on hate incidents.

In fact, the study found most public bodies didn’t collect data on hate. Furthermore, social media companies wouldn’t provide the commissioner with data on hate on their platforms during the pandemic.

The commissioner noted there was a “dramatic” increase in hate incidents during the pandemic be that based on race, gender, sexual orientation or religion.

“The increase in anti-Asian hate was particularly acute, as was hate and violence perpetrated on the basis of gender,” the commissioner wrote in the report.

The Richmond RCMP tracks hate crimes and hate incidents, and so far this year, between January and April, there have been eight hate incidents.

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