On Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Kennedy Stewart called out the “concerning rise of racism and especially anti-Asian racism” that’s been seen in Vancouver and across the rest of Canada.
“First of all, hate of any kind has no place in our city,” he told reporters. “Our diversity is our greatest strength, so it angers me when people commit such hateful acts.”
The Mayor pointed out several examples, including hateful graffiti and verbal abuse against individuals who appear to have Asian heritage. He also brought up an incident that took place last week, when a 92-year-old Asian man with dementia was “pushed and thrown to the ground.”
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“I want everyone to know that these actions will not be tolerated,” Stewart emphasized. “The Vancouver Police Department takes these actions and others like it extremely seriously and the city does too.”
He added that May is Asian Heritage Month and invited residents to think about “how much richer their lives are with such vibrant historical and present-day connections to Asia.”
“I want us all to commit, this month, and all year long, to actively denounce hateful actions and support those fighting hard to make our city even more inclusive and welcoming,” said Stewart.
Earlier this year, Canada’s top doctor said that she was “concerned” around the growing reports of racism and discrimination directed towards people of Chinese and Asian descent in relation to COVID-19.
“It is understandable that our fears increase during times like this. However, we need to remember that cohesion in our collective efforts is important,” said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, on Twitter.