VIDEO: B.C. announces anti-racism funding for prevention, education

Ravi Kahlon said money will go to B.C. Organizing Against Racism and Hate (OARH) program

The B.C. government has announced $200,000 as part of a province-wide anti-racism strategy to prepare British Columbians with the tools they’ll need to prevent racist behaviour.

During a news conference Thursday, Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism, said the new funds will be used for art, dialogue events and other projects to suit the “unique needs” of each community to give people a sense of belonging.

“When we see issues arise south of the border… arising in Europe, B.C. is not immune,” Kahlon said. “I think we need to acknowledge racism exists and take steps to address that.”

Since Donald Trump came into power in the U.S., some have argued that actions and comments have given a new spotlight to messaging that targets minorities and lacks inclusiveness.

READ MORE: Three dead in violent white nationalist rally in Charllottesville

READ MORE: Racist incidents in B.C. spark concern among defenders of tolerance

In B.C., racism-fuelled incidents have also made headlines.

Withint the last two years, there have been several cases of Klu-Klux-Klan flyers being spread throughout the Fraser Valley, as well as hate propaganda attacking Chinese immigrants being dispersed in Richmond.

More recently, in August, thousands struck back with their own anti-racism rally in Vancouver against a group planning an alt-right rally in front of City Hall.

READ: Woman defends Confederate flag spotted at Surrey home

The funding, provided through the government’s Organizing Against Racism and Hate (OARH) program, will be available to 32 B.C. cities that are already members.

OARH funding is available to help communities address incidents of racism, hate and discrimination. This includes annual reports summarizing racism or hate crimes that are reported by residents or through police files.

Programs that already exist include a youth ambassador program in Duncan, where youth welcome new residents, and a program for refugees and immigrants in the north, provided through the Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre.

Referring to to the new provincial strategy, Kahlon called it his “number one priority.”

“To address racism, it requires work, it doesn’t just happen.”

Just Posted

Nanaimo Sport Achievement Awards announce winners

VIU women’s volleyball is Team of the Year, Presidents Cup lacrosse is Sports Story of the Year

Vehicle smashes through front of furniture store in Nanaimo

No injuries reported in Friday afternoon incident on Mostar Road

Island Health dealing with ‘surge’ of measles vaccination requests in Nanaimo

No measles cases on Vancouver Island says Island Health

High school students converge on Nanaimo for Skills Canada competition

Winners will head to provincial event in Abbotsford later this year

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Beefs & Bouquets, Feb. 21

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Maple Sugar Festival features family fun, francophone-style

Maple bar drinks will be poured through ice luge at festival showcasing French Canadian culture

Governance top of mind as Nanaimo council works on its strategic plan

Council working with facilitator to develop draft plan, public consultation still to come

City of Nanaimo needs a new garbage truck due to population growth

New automated truck comes with price tag of $430,000

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

Most Read