VICTORIA — British Columbia’s minister responsible for multiculturalism says she can no longer remain silent about the rising number of hate crimes toward people of Asian heritage during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, Anne Kang says she is deeply saddened by the recent rise in physical and verbal attacks as well as an increase in vandalism.
Kang says she is “compelled as a government representative, immigrant and British Columbian to speak out against these vicious acts.”
The Vancouver Police Department has reported that the number of anti-Asian, hate-related crimes spiked in April, with 11 occurring last month, compared with 12 for all of 2019.
Kang, who moved to Canada from Taiwan, says the pandemic is affecting everyone and “acts of violence and aggression will not be tolerated.”
She says kindness will bring us through this global health crisis stronger than ever.
“Chinese Canadians have deep roots in this province,” Kang says.
“Over many generations, Chinese Canadians have worked alongside all British Columbians to build the vibrant, multicultural society we enjoy today.”
Kang has called on victims or witnesses to report hate crimes to police and urges all B.C. residents to “stand together and condemn these actions that seek to divide.”
This report from The Canadian Press was first published May 15, 2020