ANNE Kang, Minister of Citizens’ Services and responsible for Multiculturalism, has issued the following statement in honour of Asian Heritage Month in British Columbia:
“May is Asian Heritage Month, a time dedicated to honour and recognize the many contributions of people of Asian ethnicity to B.C.’s rich cultural society.
“Throughout our history, there have been many inspirational individuals of Asian heritage whose accomplishments have played a vital role in B.C.’s social and economic success. This includes: David Lam, the 25th lieutenant governor of British Columbia; Asa Johal, a Sikh immigrant who founded Terminal Forest Products, B.C.’s largest independent lumber company; and Masumi Mitsui, a Canadian soldier decorated with the Military Medal for bravery during the Battle at Vimy Ridge. Following his return to B.C., Mitsui helped establish the Japanese Canadian war memorial in Stanley Park.
“As someone of Chinese heritage who immigrated from Asia myself, I know the courage it takes for people to uproot their lives in search of new opportunity and a better life, and I have a deep respect for the many people who have made a similar journey. As Minister of Citizens’ Services and responsible for Multiculturalism, I am proud of the many government supports and services available for newcomers.
“Asian Heritage month is also a reminder that our multicultural society makes this province such an amazing place to live. I have seen the rise of anti-Asian racism and hate crimes in our province due to the COVID -19 pandemic. Any act of racism is unacceptable and everyone deserves to feel safe. In this time of global crisis, we must remember that our communities are richer because of the contributions of all British Columbians. More than ever, we need to stand together, show kindness and demonstrate through our words and actions that hate has no place in B.C.
“In honour of B.C.’s cultural diversity and in recognition of the contributions of people of all backgrounds, I encourage everyone to take this opportunity to learn more about the culture, traditions and history of Asian British Columbians. Increasing our understanding of B.C.’s multicultural heritage fosters intercultural connections and lays the foundation for a more welcoming and inclusive B.C., creating a better future for everyone.”