B.C. Premier John Horgan says he plans to introduce new legislation to tackle the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C. Premier John Horgan says he plans to introduce new legislation to tackle the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C. premier decries hate crimes after 6 Asian women killed in U.S. shooting

John Horgan is calling for stiffer penalties for people who commit hate crimes in the province

Premier John Horgan decried anti-Asian attacks in British Columbia after a Tuesday night shooting spree in Atlanta, Georgia killed eight people, six of who were Asian women.

The suspected shooter is 21-year-old Robert Long – a white male.

Horgan acknowledged hate crimes occurring in British Columbia in a Wednesday tweet: “Violence that targets women is hate. Violence that targets the Asian community is hate. There’s no excuse.

“We have seen hate here in our province, and we must all stand against it – wherever, and whenever it occurs,” he said.

READ MORE: B.C. premier calls for action on hate crimes in wake of Vancouver police report

Anti-Asian hate crimes surged last year in Vancouver, coinciding with a rise in COVID-19 cases.

In February, Vancouver Police Department reported an escalation of 717 per cent in 2020 compared to data gathered the previous year – from a dozen reported incidents to 142.

Some of the reports involved assault. Last March, a 92-year-old Asian man with dementia was attacked in an East Vancouver convenience store.

Vancouver police called the attack “hate-motivated” but the suspected perpetrator, Jamie Bezanson, was charged with assault.

“This is deeply troubling,” Horgan said last month, announcing his government’s plans to introduce anti-racism legislation in the province this year.

“We need to make sure that violence against people of colour is not just treated as violence, but in fact, as hate crimes, which carry much stiffer penalties,” Horgan said.

“If you’re going to turn against people because of the colour of your skin, you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

So far, no further details have emerged about the proposal.

RELATED: Atlanta-area shootings leave 8 dead, many of Asian descent



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Hate crimes

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

Just Posted

Nanaimo playwright Anne Nesbitt is presenting a staged reading of her play about Indigenous conservationist Gertrude Bernard, also known as Anahareo (from left). (Photo courtesy Andrew Nesbitt/Riding Mountain National Park)
Nanaimo playwright tells the story of Indigenous woman who ‘saved the beaver’

Anne Nesbitt presents ‘Anahareo’ as part of TheatreOne staged reading series

The City of Nanaimo is looking at spending another $400,000 on security throughout downtown in 2021, with a focus on overnight security. (Stock photo)
City of Nanaimo looks at increasing downtown security

Council members will consider $400,000 increase in 2021, $1.45 million in 2022

‘Nanaimo’ will be spelled out in five-foot-tall letters upon a slab of concrete overlooking Swy-a-Lana Lagoon at Maffeo Sutton Park. (Greg Sakaki/The News Bulletin)
Five-foot-tall letters spelling out ‘Nanaimo’ coming to Maffeo Sutton Park

$50,000-project expected to be installed by the end of April

Nanaimo RCMP hope the public can help find a 37-year-old man who was last seen early Tuesday, April 13. (Photo submitted)
RCMP searching for missing Nanaimo man

Friends, family of Robert William Sport, 37, extremely concerned for his safety and well-being

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

A man sustained burns to his body near this spot around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 13 in Courtenay. The fire was left of the pathway. The Station youth housing facility and city public works yard are to the right of the trail. Photo by Terry Farrell
Man catches fire sleeping while outdoors in downtown Courtenay

Firefighters say man still burning when they arrived after he fell asleep next to his fire

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Two men filmed removing red dresses from trees on highway near Ladysmith

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Vancouver Island’s Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

A Nanaimo man will serve nine months in jail for the sexual assault of a young girl he admitted to having committed more than 40 years ago. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo man sentenced for sexually abusing girl more than 40 years ago

Man, now 71, gets nine-month sentence for abuse of friend’s daughter

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo teen arrested a day after allegedly assaulting and bullying victim

Teen taken into custody after wielding weapon and threatening driver at scene of car crash

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Killer whales surface near Sebastion Beach in Lantzville on Sunday, April 11. (Photo courtesy Ella Smiley)
Orcas near the beach thrill whale watchers in Lantzville

Jagged-finned orca named Chainsaw and 17 others spent hours off Sebastion Beach this weekend

Most Read