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No place for hate in Vancouver: City responds to anti-Asian hate crimes and findings of Bloomberg report

May 11 2021 –

We are deeply saddened and angered by the level of anti-Asian hate crimes in Vancouver, reported by the Vancouver Police Department and community groups earlier this year and more recently highlighted by the Bloomberg report, and are reiterating that there is no place for racism, hate, and violence in Vancouver. 

Anti-Asian racism and other forms of racism including anti-Indigenous and anti-Black racism are deeply rooted in the history of Vancouver and other communities across Canada and we need to unite to address both systemic racism and the ongoing incidents of racism reflected in recent statistics. We ask residents to join us in recognising historical and current contributions of people of all races, ethnicities, cultures, and faiths to Vancouver’s strength and well-being. 
 
As a City, we are acting upon our responsibility to respond to ongoing and systemic racism and the rise in racist incidents. This includes publicly naming and standing against racism and hate, working with partners to do the same, working towards change within our own structure including our ability to receive and respond to racist incidents, and advocating for changes across all sectors of society.

We understand that current systems were built and grew from historic foundations of anti-Indigenous, anti-Black, and anti-Asian discrimination. We know that stereotypes, bias, and prejudice lead to violent incidents that affect our whole community. We must name and address these incidents and their impact in order to reduce further violence and harm. We commit to improving our own response to hate and racist incidents involving City staff, services, and programs. We are also working on several Council directions to begin to address historic discrimination and ongoing racism, establishing a Public Partner and Community Anti-racism Working Group to jointly develop long-term, cross-sectoral anti-racism strategies, and developing new equity approaches to ensure moving forward we are working toward equity for all Vancouverites.
 
As part of this work, we are hosting focused conversations with community leaders and City Advisory Committees to build on what the community has already told us: 

  • Racist incidents are interpersonal, systemic, and institutional in nature
  • Victims and targets of racist incidents are further targeted and/or isolated when they come forward 
  • There are limited resources to support those who are targeted directly and impacted indirectly 
  • There is limited understanding about what to do when someone experiences and/or witnesses a racist incident
  • There are limited redress mechanisms for those who are victimized and targeted by racism 
  • There is limited understanding about who to follow up with when a racist incident occurs 
  • There is limited recourse for perpetrators and victimizers

These discussions will clarify priorities for the City in moving forward with action and we invite partners to engage with us in addressing racism in our city.

Every person living, working, or recreating in Vancouver has a part to play in preventing and standing up against racism, supporting targets of racism, and creating positive change in our communities. This is a collective community responsibility.

As we celebrate Asian Heritage Month, and mark May 29 as a Day of Action Against Racism, we encourage individuals, businesses, community organizations, and associations to take a public stand against racism, and to continue to do so every single day.