Premier John Horgan (The Canadian Press)

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

B.C. Premier John Horgan is calling on the federal government to lead an anti-racism program, saying fighting racism needs a nationwide plan to ensure the participation and support of Canadians.

The premier said Wednesday he will lobby for a national anti-racism program during a conference call with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his fellow premiers Thursday.

Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States and saddened by the unfolding situation as protests continue in cities across America.

“We are pretty clear in B.C. that again we are wanting to push as hard as we can for national approaches to these vexing problems,” he said at a news conference. “We have enough to deal with here in B.C. by ourselves, but if we are aided by a federal program and a federal initiative that has us all working together from coast to coast to coast, I think that lifts up all Canadians.”

Horgan said a federal plan, supported by the provinces, will add strength to messages of anti-racism in Canada.

Recently, Horgan denounced alleged racially motivated attacks against Chinese-Canadians in Metro Vancouver during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At Wednesday’s news conference, he said despite efforts to treat people equally there are blotches on the province’s past.

“Although we do our level best to address racism here in B.C., it exists here as well,” Horgan said. “We’ve had certainly challenges with racism going back to the head tax for Chinese-Canadians, the Komagata Maru when it comes to South Asians and Indigenous Peoples have experienced racism from the beginning of settlement here in B.C.”

He said law enforcement agencies aim to treat people equally, but there are also blemishes on that record in B.C.

“What we do in those situations is try and get better,” said Horgan.

He said providing law enforcement with more tools to understand and interact with people of different backgrounds can help.

“It’s imperative all of us stand together,” Horgan said. “Like you, I’m horrified to see what happened to George Floyd. I’m horrified when I see the response in major U.S. cities. When we look to the south it causes me great sadness, and I know the vast majority of Canadians feel the same way.”

Tens of thousands of people have marched in protests, both peaceful and violent, in cities across America since video emerged showing an officer pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck.

On Wednesday, prosecutors upgraded charges against the officer involved to second-degree murder and three other offices at the scene were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

The Minneapolis police fired all four officers last week.

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

racism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Interior Health will not expand Police and Crisis Team

Southeast Division Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli asked IH to expand the program

Haze over Okanagan and Shuswap skies may have drifted from Siberia

Few active wildifres so far this summer in B.C.

Heavy rain in Okanagan results in slowest start to fire season in four years

119 hectares of land burned so far this year, compared to 991 ha in 2019, and 3,835 ha in 2018

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Province releases report on Columbia River Treaty public feedback

Reservoir levels, fair compensation for impacted communities, among many issues raised

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Shuswap resident spots waterspout near Salmon Arm

The rare weather event was spotted early in the morning on July 4.

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

Seymour Arm landslide interrupts drinking water to 500 people

The July 3 slide damaged a water system and a logging road.

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Most Read