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Province launches anti-racism network

North Delta MLA Ravi Kahlon helped spearhead new program
Racism committee
Premier John Horgan announces the new Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network during a press conference in Victoria on Wednesday.

Through the efforts of a number of community stakeholders, the provincial government has launched a new Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network.

“Every person deserves to live free from discrimination, but too many people in B.C. continue to face barriers, violence and prejudice simply because of who they are,” said Premier John Horgan in a news release. “Our government is stepping up to launch a network of supports that are proactive, innovative and co-ordinated across the province. We’re working to build a better province where people are free to be who they are and have the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

The total investment in the Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network will be $540,000 annually. The network will offer a multi-faceted, province-wide approach that will provide greater focus and leadership in identifying and challenging racism. The program will connect communities with information, supports and training needed to respond to, and prevent future incidents of, racism and hate.

This program is the result of a series of community dialogues led by North Delta MLA Ravi Kahlon, former parliamentary secretary for sport and multiculturalism, in July and August of 2019. The meetings explored issues and experiences around racism and hate, and asked community leaders for advice about how government can help build a safer, more inclusive province. Recommendations were made to redesign the existing Organizing Against Racism and Hate (OARH) program, to better support community organizations in their efforts to fight racism and hate.

In the coming months, a request for proposals will be issued to identify a central service provider to deliver services provincially, and individual communities will be engaged in early 2020 to become part of a network of up to 40 local service providers.