The province is working to help communities deal with hate activity and racism.

It says more supports will be available following a rise in racist incidents targeting Asian people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is very concerning that we are seeing an increase in racially motivated attacks toward people of Asian heritage since the COVID-19 outbreak,” says Minister of Citizens’ Services Anne Kang. “These incidents are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We are acting now to address racism at the community level and ensure all British Columbians are free from discrimination and intimidation.”

Following a competitive bidding process, the province has selected the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) to serve as a provincial hub to help communities address hate activity.

“VIRCS is very proud to lead the important work being done in B.C. communities to stop the spread of racism and end the recent spikes in hate crimes,” says executive director David Lau. “We look forward to collaborating with community leaders across the province to create innovative local resources to advance multiculturalism, support reconciliation with Indigenous communities and fight prejudice to provide a fully inclusive province for all British Columbians.”

The provincial government launched Resilience BC, a provincewide approach in challenging racism at a local level in November of last year.

The program will connect communities with a network of information, supports and training to help them respond to incidents of racism and hate.

It’s one of many actions the province is taking “as part of our commitment to stand up for diversity, end racism and all forms of discrimination, and support multiculturalism.”

A competitive bidding process has been launched to establish community-based Resilience BC spokes to work with the provincial hub to address racism and hate at local and regional levels.

Community organizations interested in leading anti-racism and anti-hate efforts in their communities are encouraged to submit proposals by May 19th.