The month of May celebrates Asian heritage and hate or racism is not welcomed in the province, said Anne Kang, B.C.’s Minister of Citizens’ Services and responsible for Multiculturalism, on Sunday.
Asian Heritage Month is dedicated to recognizing the many contributions of people of Asian ethnicity to B.C.’s cultural society and has been celebrated since the 1990s.
Kang acknowledged having seen an increase of anti-Asian racism and hate crimes in the province, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and stated that the acts are “unacceptable and everyone deserves to feel safe.”
“In this time of global crisis, we must remember that our communities are richer because of the contributions of all British Columbians. More than ever, we need to stand together, show kindness and demonstrate through our words and actions that hate has no place in B.C.,” said Kang in a statement.
“As someone of Chinese heritage who immigrated from Asia myself, I know the courage it takes for people to uproot their lives in search of new opportunity and a better life, and I have a deep respect for the many people who have made a similar journey."
Kang added that she is proud of the “many government supports and services available for newcomers” and highlighted several individuals who have contributed to the province’s social and economic growth including David Lam, B.C.’s 25th lieutenant governor, Asa Johal, a Sikh immigrant who founded B.C.’s largest independent lumber company, and Masumi Mitsui, a Military Medal for bravery recipient who also established the Japanese Canadian war memorial in Stanley Park.
She encourages everyone to learn more about the culture, traditions and history of Asian British Columbians to help promote intercultural connections for a more “welcoming and inclusive B.C.” during Asian Heritage Month.