B.C. Premier John Horgan says he plans to introduce new legislation to tackle the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C. Premier John Horgan says he plans to introduce new legislation to tackle the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C. premier decries hate crimes after 6 Asian women killed in U.S. shooting

John Horgan is calling for stiffer penalties for people who commit hate crimes in the province

Premier John Horgan decried anti-Asian attacks in British Columbia after a Tuesday night shooting spree in Atlanta, Georgia killed eight people, six of who were Asian women.

The suspected shooter is 21-year-old Robert Long – a white male.

Horgan acknowledged hate crimes occurring in British Columbia in a Wednesday tweet: “Violence that targets women is hate. Violence that targets the Asian community is hate. There’s no excuse.

“We have seen hate here in our province, and we must all stand against it – wherever, and whenever it occurs,” he said.

READ MORE: B.C. premier calls for action on hate crimes in wake of Vancouver police report

Anti-Asian hate crimes surged last year in Vancouver, coinciding with a rise in COVID-19 cases.

In February, Vancouver Police Department reported an escalation of 717 per cent in 2020 compared to data gathered the previous year – from a dozen reported incidents to 142.

Some of the reports involved assault. Last March, a 92-year-old Asian man with dementia was attacked in an East Vancouver convenience store.

Vancouver police called the attack “hate-motivated” but the suspected perpetrator, Jamie Bezanson, was charged with assault.

“This is deeply troubling,” Horgan said last month, announcing his government’s plans to introduce anti-racism legislation in the province this year.

“We need to make sure that violence against people of colour is not just treated as violence, but in fact, as hate crimes, which carry much stiffer penalties,” Horgan said.

“If you’re going to turn against people because of the colour of your skin, you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

So far, no further details have emerged about the proposal.

RELATED: Atlanta-area shootings leave 8 dead, many of Asian descent



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Hate crimes

Just Posted

Dooris Raad was last seen in South Surrey’s Ocean Park neighbourhood on June 7. (Surrey RCMP photo)
(James Smith photo)
North Delta crime beat, week of May 31

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

The Lower Mainland Green Team and students from Earl Marriott Secondary remove invasive plants from White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park. (Contributed photo)
Green Team returns to White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park to monitor previous work

Environmental volunteers, South Surrey students remove invasive species

People were lined up around the fields at a drop-in vaccine clinic at Newton Athletic Park on Tuesday (April 27, 2021), which is one of the high-transmission neighbourhoods that are being given vaccine priority. This clinic was one of at least three to open in the city on Tuesday. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s weekly cases continue to drop, push for 80% vaccination rate citywide

BCCDC reports 263 cases for Surrey the week of May 30 to June 5

Friends of Bear Creek Park held a ‘yellow-ribbon event’ on Saturday (June 12, 2021), with protesters at 84th Avenue and King George Boulevard and 84th Avenue and 140th Street. People were asked to tie a yellow ribbon in their yard “to celebrate and to show support for our trees in Bear Creek Park.” (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Protesters hold ‘yellow-ribbon’ event at Surrey’s Bear Creek Park

People asked to tie a yellow ribbon in their yard to ‘show support for our trees’

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read