The provincial government says there is no place for racism in British Columbia and has decided to provide funding to various organizations to combat hate crimes.
According to a press release, the B.C. government is providing $52,500 to six different organizations on Vancouver Island in an effort to combat racism and anti-hate crimes. The organizations receiving the money are the Community Justice Centre for the Comox Valley Society, Cowichan Intercultural Society, Inter-Cultural Association, Literacy Alberni Society, Liminal Spaces Consulting and The Multicultural and Immigrant Services Association of North Vancouver Island.
“There is no place for racism and hate in British Columbia. To fight racism and hate crimes, we must work together in a co-ordinated way in communities in every corner of the province,” said Anne Kang, minister of citizens’ services and responsible for multiculturalism. “These community organizations will lead action at a local and regional level to respond to and prevent racist and hate activity.”
“People in B.C. deserve to feel safe and supported in the communities they call home,” adds Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “We’re taking action to address these issues by empowering local organizations to stop racism and hate in its tracks.”
Through the province’s Resilience BC program, 34 organizations – including six on Vancouver Island – with a demonstrated strong understanding of racism and hate issues were selected to provide services in 40 communities across British Columbia, the release said.
Resilience BC was launched in November 2019 and is a provincewide anti-racism network delivered through a hub-and-spoke model. Earlier this year the province chose the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society to serve as a provincial hub to connect communities with information, training and resources throughout the province. The spokes are community-based branches that identify local priorities and move projects forward to address systemic and institutionalized racism at a local level.
“The work of the Cowichan Intercultural Society and others are integral to addressing racism and shaping the kind of inclusive and resilient communities we want on the islands,” said Sonia Furstenau, MLA for Cowichan Valley. “These hard-working groups have done extraordinary work to celebrate and support diversity in the region, and I am delighted they will be receiving funding to continue current and future programs.”
The province also recently launched an online portal called to support people who experience or witness a racist incident. The website offers information and videos in various languages and can be accessed by visiting https://hatecrimesinbc.