Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon. (Photo submitted)

COLUMN: Fighting racism to build a safer, more inclusive B.C.

MLA Ravi Kahlon is travelling across B.C. to discuss emerging issues on racism and hate incidences

Everyone has a right to live without fear of violence or discrimination, yet too many people face racism and hate as part of their daily lives.

Our friends, neighbours, colleagues and family are being targeted simply for their identity — their race, faith, sexual orientation, gender identity or other traits that make them who they are.

Police-reported hate crimes have risen in B.C. in recent years, from 164 reported incidents in 2015 to 255 incidents in 2017. Sadly, evidence of this increase is regularly seen in our communities. From despicable acts like the recent SkyTrain assaults of a Muslim woman and a gay couple in Vancouver, to hateful comments posted on social media — all are stark examples of prejudices and hatred among us.

Last month, the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was released. This report’s tragic findings bring to the forefront the magnitude of the systemic racial and gendered human rights violations against Indigenous peoples, so severe the inquiry has called it a Canadian genocide.

Premier John Horgan is committed to engaging survivors, families and communities to create a path forward to end violence against women. These critical actions will be informed by our government’s broader commitment to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

Our government is championing human rights, diversity and inclusion, and working to make life better for every person, in every community in British Columbia. Our work has included re-establishing the B.C. Human Rights Commission and redesigning the Multiculturalism Grants Program to better support organizations in their work to create a more welcoming province.

To build on this work, I’ll be travelling across the province this summer to meet with community leaders to discuss local, emerging issues on racist and hate incidences. As Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism, I want to hear from leaders and organizations across our province who are passionate about building an inclusive British Columbia. I want to understand what is being done, what is working and what more we can do, together. I also want to encourage every person in B.C. to consider how they too can fight against racism and hate in their own lives.

The challenges are great. However, we cannot allow hatred to continue to express itself through violence and crime. B.C.’s greatest treasure is its people. We are privileged to live in the most culturally diverse province in Canada. B.C. is home to more than 230,000 Indigenous peoples, as well as residents who trace their origins to more than 200 countries or regions.

The insight I gain from these community engagements will continue to move us forward in building stronger communities. Our multicultural society enriches our lives and makes our province an amazing place to live. These consultation meetings are one of many steps we are taking to confront and eradicate racism. It is also a crucial part of our commitment to making life better for everyone in B.C.

Ravi Kahlon is MLA for Delta North and Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism.



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

‘Do the right thing,’ implores sister of South Surrey stabbing victim

IHIT confirms male arrested in connection with Paul Prestbakmo’s death no longer in custody

Groovy South Surrey wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Delta Heritage Society seeks info about items in its collection

DHS is reviewing its collection to prepare for the opening of the new Delta Cultural Centre

FOOTBALL: 50 years of Bronze Boot battles in Surrey

With Jean McPherson, Joe Connelly helps plan annual tournament, set for Aug. 24-25

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Clean the house, prep for your next trip: Tips to nix the post-vacation blues

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

Couple could go to jail for taking 88 lbs. of Italian sand

Pair said they didn’t know it was illegal to take the sand, which is protected as a public good

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

Border agents carry out raid at Hastings Racecourse

Dozens were spoken to, witnesses say

B.C. Speaker tight-lipped about aide’s legislature security tour

B.C. Liberals question Alan Mullen’s drive across Canada, U.S.

Most Read