“Hate has no place in our province.”
Those were the words of BC NDP Premier John Horgan on the eve of a rally organized and planned for this Saturday at Vancouver City Hall.
Although the original Facebook event page relating to the far-right march by Worldwide Coalition Against Islam appeared to have been removed, another event was posted entitled “WCAI/CAP August 19th Vancouver rally,” declaring it the group’s first ever rally in Vancouver.
In response, another rally for “tolerance and inclusivity” is being held to counter the planned march on the same day at the same location.
“We reject all forms of racism, discrimination, intolerance and bigotry,” Horgan said Friday.
The Premier also spoke about the recent events in Charlottesville, VA, calling them “horrifying.”
He added that “hateful rhetoric is on the rise worldwide.”
While many British Columbians “want to believe” such brazen acts of hatred could not happen here, he furthered, “the reality is that hate groups also organize and operate in Canada.”
The Premier called for people to stand united and denounce such groups “in the strongest possible terms.”
The values and beliefs of these types of groups have “no place in a tolerant and inclusive society,” he added.
“When we are confronted by hate, we all have a responsibility to take action. We will continue to stand up for the values shared by the vast majority of British Columbians: equality, inclusiveness and unity.”
Speaking about the counter-rally planned on the same day, Horgan said he wished participants “a safe and peaceful demonstration.”