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

Last Updated Jun 4, 2020 at 7:03 am PDT

FILE - B.C. Premier John Horgan provides the latest update on the COVID-19 response in the province during a press conference from the rose garden at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C.'s premier is going to be pushing for a national anti-racism program

John Horgan says he plans to push for the idea during a call with the PM, other premiers this week

Horgan says racism is a problem that requires a nationwide approach to ensure participation, support of all Canadians

VICTORIA — Saying Canada’s diversity and multiculturalism mean we need a national strategy to combat racism, Premier John Horgan will make his case to the Premiers and federal government today.

Each Thursday Horgan attends a weekly conference call with other provincial and territorial leaders and the Prime Minister. Today he says he will push for a “coast-to-coast-to-coast” strategy to tackle racism.

“I think that lifts up all Canadians and we can identify and recognize that it’s a diverse, multicultural country; better to have a national approach to these issues and having provinces fully supporting those.”

He also took a moment to express his horror at the death of George Floyd in the U.S., and understands the need to protest and have your voice heard right now, despite the pandemic.

“Be responsible to yourself and more importantly, to the people around you,” he asked of British Columbian’s planning to attend protests.

Horgan acknowledged a series of well-known historically racist events and policies, including the Chinese Head Tax, the Komagata Maru incident, aimed at South Asian migrants and ongoing racism towards Indigenous people.

The premier also spoke out recently against alleged racially-motivated attacks against Chinese-Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.