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HomeNewsSpike in anti-Asian hate crimes prompts Province to launch racist incident hotline

Spike in anti-Asian hate crimes prompts Province to launch racist incident hotline

To combat ongoing racist activities across B.C. and support future anti-racism initiatives, the Province is gearing up to launch a racist incident hotline.

In Vancouver alone, it notes anti-Asian hate crimes spiked over 700 per cent in 2020 compared to the previous year.

And when comparing B.C. with communities across North America on a per-capita basis, Attorney General David Eby says we’re a “major hot spot for anti-Asian racism.” He says this is “unacceptable and more action is needed.”

The hotline is intended to be a multilingual service – not delivered by police – for B.C.’ers to report racist incidents and receive support and referrals, the Province explains.

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It says the hotline won’t replace emergency response services, but rather provide a “culturally safe venue for racialized British Columbians to report incidents, validate their experiences and obtain support services.”

Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives, Rachna Singh, says the government has a moral and ethical responsibility to tackle discrimination in all its forms.

With this in mind, she says they’ve done a lot already, “like recently quadrupling funding for community-based anti-racism projects.” However, she adds “there’s more to do, and a hotline will support British Columbians if they witness or are the victim of a racist incident.”

Discussions with Indigenous partners and other racialized groups related to race-based data collection are now underway, and the Province says broader public engagement is planned for this summer: “Consultations with community stakeholders will inform the racist incident hotline to help ensure it meets the needs of Indigenous, Black and other racialized and faith communities.”

Quick Facts:

The B.C. government says it’s undertaking a variety of anti-racism initiatives to make the province a safer and more inclusive place for everyone.

These include:

  • investing more than $1.2 million in multicultural grants in March for more than 190 anti-racism projects throughout the province;
  • launching an anti-racism public information campaign; and
  • committing to introducing a new anti-racism act and legislation on race-based data collection.
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