B.C. Premier John Horgan says he plans to introduce new legislation to tackle the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C. Premier John Horgan says he plans to introduce new legislation to tackle the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C. premier decries hate crimes after 6 Asian women killed in U.S. shooting

John Horgan is calling for stiffer penalties for people who commit hate crimes in the province

Premier John Horgan decried anti-Asian attacks in British Columbia after a Tuesday night shooting spree in Atlanta, Georgia killed eight people, six of who were Asian women.

The suspected shooter is 21-year-old Robert Long – a white male.

Horgan acknowledged hate crimes occurring in British Columbia in a Wednesday tweet: “Violence that targets women is hate. Violence that targets the Asian community is hate. There’s no excuse.

“We have seen hate here in our province, and we must all stand against it – wherever, and whenever it occurs,” he said.

READ MORE: B.C. premier calls for action on hate crimes in wake of Vancouver police report

Anti-Asian hate crimes surged last year in Vancouver, coinciding with a rise in COVID-19 cases.

In February, Vancouver Police Department reported an escalation of 717 per cent in 2020 compared to data gathered the previous year – from a dozen reported incidents to 142.

Some of the reports involved assault. Last March, a 92-year-old Asian man with dementia was attacked in an East Vancouver convenience store.

Vancouver police called the attack “hate-motivated” but the suspected perpetrator, Jamie Bezanson, was charged with assault.

“This is deeply troubling,” Horgan said last month, announcing his government’s plans to introduce anti-racism legislation in the province this year.

“We need to make sure that violence against people of colour is not just treated as violence, but in fact, as hate crimes, which carry much stiffer penalties,” Horgan said.

“If you’re going to turn against people because of the colour of your skin, you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

So far, no further details have emerged about the proposal.

RELATED: Atlanta-area shootings leave 8 dead, many of Asian descent



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Hate crimes

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Prospera Place in Kelowna. (Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
Kelowna Rockets return to the ice after COVID-19 quarantine

All individuals within the team cohort tested negative for COVID-19 earlier this week

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
Man arrested in West Kelowna for stealing police bait car

The suspect has been identified as Raymond Francis Thiffault of Kamloops, who already had an outstanding Canada-wide warrant.

Rose Valley Elementary School. (Contributed)
Central Okanagan School sees second COVID-19 exposure in two days

An exposure was identified at Rose Valley Elementary on April 12 and 13

(Natalia Cuevas-Huaico - Kelowna Capital News)
The Central Okanagan Food Bank said it has seen an increase in people who need help as the pandemic continues. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News/FILE)
Increase in families, seniors using Central Okanagan Food Bank as pandemic continues

Current restrictions have hit the Okanagan’s hospitality workers hard

(AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, FIle)
VIDEO: Rare blood clots ‘may be linked’ to AstraZeneca vaccines, Health Canada says

One case of the adverse effect has been reported in Canada

Young cyclists from Quebec have not been riding single file on Naramata’s narrow and windy roads, causing the ire of locals worried for their safety and theirs. (Dan Moskaluk)
Quebec cyclists bad road behaviour causing stir in Penticton

The young cycling group illegally riding two-abreast on Naramata’s narrow roads

MP Todd Doherty took to Facebook after his family recently received threats. (Todd Doherty, MP Facebook photo)
‘I don’t run and I don’t hide’: Cariboo MP says RCMP probing threats made against family

Todd Doherty has also notified House of Commons Protective Services

Two men walk past a sign on Main Street in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calls for government transparency in COVID data continue as B.C.’s 3rd wave wears on

Social media, where both information and misinformation can spread like wildfire, has not helped

The music video for “Green and Blue” featured a Willington Care Centre in Burnaby as well as some of the volunteers and employees. (Screenshot/Todd Richard)
‘Green and Blue’: B.C. country musician releases tribute song for front-line workers

Richard’s new single has been viewed more than 3,000 times on his YouTube channel

An unidentified B.C. man said, in a human rights complaint, that he was refused a contract job after refusing to wear a mask when asked to by an on-site manager. (Unsplash)
Religious B.C. man lodges human rights complaint after fired for refusing to wear a mask

Worker’s claim that ‘to cover up our face infringes on our God-given ability to breathe’ dismissed by B.C. Human Rights Tribunal

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An oversight committee has been formed for an eco-village which will be constructed near Summerland’s proposed solar and battery storage project. (Black Press file photo)
Oversight committee formed for Summerland’s eco-village project

Initial meetings have been held to plan methodology

This 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 was stolen from Black Creek Motors at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday, April 11. Photos via blackcreekmotors.com
VIDEO: B.C. car dealer posts clip of thieves towing a truck right off his lot

Video shows one white truck towing another off Vancouver Island lot

Most Read