B.C. Premier John Horgan says he will push for a national anti-racism program this week during a conference call with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his fellow premiers.
Horgan says racism is a vexing problem that requires a nationwide approach to ensure the participation and support of all Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
He says he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the U.S., and dismayed at the ongoing anti-racism and police brutality during protests in major cities south of the border.
Horgan says despite B.C.’s efforts to treat people equally there are blemishes on the province’s record, including the Chinese Head Tax, the Komagata Maru incident aimed at South Asian migrants and ongoing racism towards Indigenous people.
The premier also spoke out recently against alleged racially-motivated attacks against Chinese-Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Horgan says he is scheduled to participate Thursday in a national meeting with the premiers and the prime minister.
The events taking place in the U.S. spurred another B.C. government official to seek a variation of change as well.
Earlier this week, Minister of Education, Rob Fleming, endorsed a push for more black history curriculum in B.C. schools.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Fleming said he has drafted a letter to the British Columbia Black History Awareness Society in an effort to spark a discussion and look at possible resources available.
“I’ve written a letter to the B.C. Black History Association to make this, if you will, a teachable moment, how we can strengthen the curriculum ties to learn about the multicultural history including the history of the black community in British Columbia,” said Fleming.
With files to the Canadian Press.