What happened: More than 200 business, Indigenous, community and faith-based leaders sign open letter denouncing hate
Why it matters: Dismaying accounts of attacks and racism have been emerging amidst the pandemic
From brutal and seemingly random assaults to accounts of racist slurs targeting British Columbians of East Asian descent, the B.C. business community is condemning mounting waves of hate across the province.
“We are all deeply disturbed by the violent, overt and subtle displays of racism we are increasingly seeing and some that are being reported in the media. This is an affront to what it means to be a citizen in our province and country,” the Business Council of B.C. (BCBC) said in an open letter released Thursday (May 21).
“As a place that welcomes the world, what we are witnessing is not who we are or aspire to be as Canadians. Admitting this growing problem will enable us to address it.”
The BCBC statement was signed by more than 200 members of the business community, as well as community, Indigenous and faith-based leaders.
Signatories include Jimmy Pattison, chairman and CEO of the Jim Pattison Group; Brandt Louie, chairman and CEO of the H.Y. Louie Group of Companies; Ian Campbell, Chief of the Squamish Nation; and Sue Paish, CEO of the Digital Technology Supercluster.
“Our primary job now is to dig out of this generational crisis together to create an even better province, with jobs and new opportunities for all,” the statement goes on to say.
“We need every British Columbian to be part of this rebuilding effort, working together with generous hearts, offering their solutions, intelligence, positivity, creativity and as Dr. Bonnie Henry so compassionately tells us: kindness.”
The denouncement of racist attacks comes the day after B.C. Premier John Horgan spoke of his own concerns of rising hate in the province, calling attacks targeting businesses based on owners’ ethnicity “absolutely reprehensible.”
Read the statement in full below: