BC Provincial Election Candidate Questionare Responses

Letter to 265 Candidate across the province of British Columbia on October 16, 2020:

From Maple Leaf Anti-Racism Actions Association (MLARA)

Hi, my name is Ivan Pak, I am the President of Maple Leaf Anti-Racism Action Association. First let me congratulate you on your candidacy of the 2020 BC provincial election. 

Our association aims to fight against racism in Canada, we would like to ask you a few questions regarding discrimination and racism, and how we can work together to promote social harmony and racial equality, both in BC and across the nation. 

Your answers will be important to our members and supporters, we appriciate if you can spend some times to give us feedbacks.  

The “shadow pandemic” of anti-Chinese racism is pervasive and impacting Chinese Canadians’ sense of belonging in Canada, according to a new poll. Results from this survey of more than 500 Canadians of Chinese ethnicity underscore the extent and depth to which they have been exposed to discriminatory behaviours, and the effect on their own sense of self and belonging in this country. 

Half (50%) report being called names or insulted as a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak, and a plurality (43%) further say they’ve been threatened or intimidated. 

Additionally, three-in-ten (30%) report being frequently exposed to racist graffiti or messaging on social media since the pandemic began, while just as many (29%) say they have frequently been made to feel as though they posed a threat to the health and safety of others. 

It is perhaps unsurprising then, that a majority believe Canadians in general blame people of Chinese ethnicity for COVID-19, or that just 13 per cent believe others in this country view them as fully Canadian “all the time”. 

Six-in-ten (61%) say they have adjusted their routines in order to avoid run-ins or otherwise unpleasant encounters since the COVID-19 outbreak began. 
Two-thirds (64%) report feeling coverage from North American news outlets has led to negative views of people of Chinese ethnicity in Canada. 
Just over half are worried that Asian children are going to be bullied when they return to school due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Our questions are as below: 

1. Do you think there is systemic racism in Canada? If so, how will you advocate to fight against systemic racism if you are elected? 

2. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified racism against Canadians with Asian heritage. What will you do in turn of policy making, or community engagement if you are elected? 

3. What can you do to the Chinese Canadians, to protect them from racism and discrimination and how will you engage with the Chinese Canadians if you are to be elected? 

Thank you very much for your time and effort, we look forward to your reply. 

Ivan Pak 
President of MLARA 
Maple Leaf Anti-Racism Action Association

RESPONSES FROM CANDIDATES: (NOT IN NAMELY ORDER)

OFFICIAL RESPONSES FROM OUR 3 MAJOR PARTIES:

BC Liberal:

BC NDP:

BC GREEN

BC CHP Candidate Aeriol Alderking – Abbotsford-Mission

1. Do you think there is systemic racism in Canada? If so, how will you advocate to fight against systemic racism if you are elected?

I know there is systemic racism in Canada. They have been sterilizing aboriginal women and children in this country for almost a century. The Liberals reinstated the 1933 BC Sexual Sterilization Act with the same stakeholders as the original eugenics boards: school, psychiatrist and judge. Currently the target is sterilizing and transitioning foster children, 54% being aboriginal. They are also targeting disabled and troubled children. 

2. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified racism against Canadians with Asian heritage. What will you do in turn of policy making, or community engagement if you are elected?

The Chinese people suffered and died in atrocious numbers at the hands of their government. Many former citizens of China, Vietnam and other dictatorships are still terrified by the governments of their country of origin. Although they may be Canadian citizens, there are still family members left behind who can be targeted with varying levels of discrimination and even torture. It is important to educate Canadians of our less than savory history such as the internment of the Japanese during WWII to learn from those mistakes. We must look for ways to pressure China to improve its human rights record. We must demand the return of the “two Michaels”. We must reject Huawei and protect our citizens from Chinese spying and intimidation. We must reject the Chinese ‘social credit’ system. The government must become the voice for those who are afraid to speak up. We must press China to free the Falon Gong followers, the Christians, and the Uyghurs.

3. What can you do to the Chinese Canadians, to protect them from racism and discrimination and how will you engage with the Chinese Canadians if you are to be elected?

I will condemn all intimidation and attacks on Chinese Canadians. I will educate our public that Chinese citizens were victims of their government and are not responsible for the actions of their government. I will resist all attempts to bring CCP style leadership to our country. I have personally assisted new Asian citizens by accompanying them on job search to help with language barriers and promote their skills. I will, whenever possible, apply pressure for the CCP to stop human rights violations.


BC Liberal Candidate Roxanne Helme
Oak Bay-Gordon Head

1. Do you think there is systemic racism in Canada? If so, how will you advocate to fight against systemic racism if you are elected? 

Regrettably racism exists in Canada.  It simply cannot be tolerated.  All persons are equal and must be treated equally in absolutely every way.  As a lawyer I have fought to uphold equality rights as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  If elected I will continue to work to eliminate racism in our society.

2. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified racism against Canadians with Asian heritage. What will you do in turn of policy making, or community engagement if you are elected? 

It is most regrettable that the pandemic has been the impetus for an increase in racism against persons of Asian heritage.  This must be dealt with.  I have done extensive work with the Inter-Cultural Association of Victoria, most recently as President and Chair of the Board.  That organization does incredible work creating cross cultural connections and relationships in our community.  As an elected official I would pursue the same approach of promoting cross cultural connections and relationships.

3. What can you do to the Chinese Canadians, to protect them from racism and discrimination and how will you engage with the Chinese Canadians if you are to be elected? 

I have since I was a teenager been actively engaged with the Chinese Canadian community in Victoria in part as a result of my close friendship with a person of Chinese heritage.  I visited China in 1983 and studied Mandarin for 6 weeks in Shanghai.  As a lawyer I have represented numerous Chinese Canadians over my career.  As an elected official I would continue actively engaging with Chinese Canadians in my constituency.  Protecting Chinese Canadians from racism and discrimination is a different and extremely concerning issue.  Protecting persons from any kind of racism and/or discrimination must continue to be a priority for our community. 

BC CHP Candidate Dan Stuart – Nechako Lakes

#1. Yes I do believe there is missplaced racism in BC and Canadians, no matter the color of their skin deserve better. What I believe is most people in BC are mixing up on Communist China and Canadian Chinese. Racism in any form must be stopped. I think information is the best mode to stop it.

#2 Again I believe an informed people make good decisions, therefore I believe information would be the key policy.

#3. I would act on our charter rights which are applicable to all Canadians; Chinese, Asian, European, First Nations, on & on.

BC Green Candidate Kelly Tatham – Vancouver-Mount Pleasant

1. Do you think there is systemic racism in Canada? If so, how will you advocate to fight against systemic racism if you are elected? 
Yes. Canada was built on systemic racism. I will fight against systemic racism at all levels and, most importantly, address it from the root up. Our governmental system is a colonial-capitalist structure founded on Indigenous genocide. We must start with reparations and reconciliation with “British Columbia’s” host nations. As we repair and heal from generational trauma, we must work with — and take guidance from — BC First Nations on how to move forward. The system will be rebuilt to include everyone. This is how we combat systemic racism. 
2. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified racism against Canadians with Asian heritage. What will you do in turn of policy making, or community engagement if you are elected? First, I will speak to Canadians with Asian heritage to learn how they’ve been affected and ask for guidance on what they want changed. I would facilitate community discussions with everyone who wants to be engaged to brainstorm how we’re going to approach this specific experience of racism. Next would come education and policy, if need be. I hope we could resolve this issue at a community level, but I recognize that racism is endemic to and pervasive in our society. Changing hearts and minds is the work of our lifetime and we recognize that each particular instance of racism is part of a greater whole. The Greens are dedicated to moving us into a society that is equitable and safe for everyone. The Greens will continue the work on the macro scale as you and I work within our communities at the micro scale. 
3. What can you do to the Chinese Canadians, to protect them from racism and discrimination and how will you engage with the Chinese Canadians if you are to be elected? 

Thank you for this question. When witnessing racism and discrimination against any body, I make it my duty to first call it out, second question the narrative, and third find resolution. People are bigoted because they are confused, because they are scared, and because they aren’t properly educated. I do not know yet how to specifically protect Chinese Canadians, so I would first come to you and ask for your guidance. Because I can’t understand your experience, I believe it’s important that I listen first. Then together we can move forward with grace and compassion, creating safety and security for all Chinese Canadians in British Columbia. 

BC Libertarian Candidate Gölök Buday – Vancouver – Hastings

1. Do you think there is systemic racism in Canada? If so, how will you advocate to fight against systemic racism if you are elected? 
The Monarchy, Indian Act, in-system racism.  Also forced Anglican Religion as an official religion, so bigotry by definition.
It’s always possible racial, anti-religious, colorist, intellectual difference bigotries can exist in a big Government.  More civil servants, more buddy systems, a lot of people justifying their oppressive crap to themselves in so many ways.  That’s the English tradition of the civil service.
Less Government, a Demand to the End of the Indian Act, and change to a Constitutional Republic to replace the foreign Crown.  I support changing the Police Act, so Mayors can’t hide behind it or Police Boards (like Kennedy Stewart), it’s not a purely racial issue, effects us all, I’m Magyar, I was a victim of police brutality. WhatI wrote on it: https://www.bcindividualist.org/?id=315https://www.bcindividualist.org/?id=302  I have been on this issue since 1996 where I said in Pt Grey “The only thing worse than a criminal, is a cop who is a criminal.”

2. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified racism against Canadians with Asian heritage. What will you do in turn of policy making, or community engagement if you are elected? 
I don’t like that it happens, and any violence should be taken seriously.  My Aunt is Chinese decent, 1st Genereation, Magyars came from the east a bit over 1000 years ago.  As long as there is evidence of a crime, it should be dealt with, no theft or aggressive violence can be accepted.  It should be made clear that a lot of these individuals escaped the CCP and are allies against the people who dropped this and Fentanyl on our laps, not all people sharing similar physical features.  It’s shameful people  judge others on such superficial levels.

3. What can you do to the Chinese Canadians, to protect them from racism and discrimination and how will you engage with the Chinese Canadians if you are to be elected?   
To be honest, protection is basically impossible, the problems are out there, one can only prove a crime has been committed   I always engage with them, they are my family, I have tea with my aunt nearly every day.  It’s already part of my life.

BC NDP Candidate Harwinder Sandhu – Vernon-Monashee

Thank you for your email.  As an Indo – Canadian female candidate i have first hand experience that there is systemic racism in Canada.  I am currently the Chair of my union’s Human Rights Equity Caucus and if  i am elected or not i will continue to advocate for Equity for all.  If I’m elected i hope to have a bigger voice than i currently have but i will always advocate to have my voice heard.  

BC Green Candidate Adam Olsen – SAANICH NORTH AND THE ISLANDS

1. Do you think there is systemic racism in Canada? If so, how will you advocate to fight against systemic racism if you are elected? 

Yes. Systemic racism exists in every government institution in Canada. As an MLA for the past three and a half years I have worked toward recognizing and addressing systemic racism.

I was a key contributor to the passage of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act while also being part of the Police Act Reform Committee. 

As an Indigenous person who has lived on reserve my whole life I understand how pervasive racism is in our institutions. Obviously it is not limited to Indigenous people. The provincial government has a shameful history of racist acts against many people including the Chinese head tax, Japanese internment and Komagata Maru.

This work has just started and we need MLA’s committed to continuing. I am that MLA!

2. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified racism against Canadians with Asian heritage. What will you do in turn of policy making, or community engagement if you are elected? 

I was honoured to be part of the Lieutenant-Governor’s response to racism against people of Asian heritage earlier this year. We must continue with broad public information campaigns to call out these acts and commit to changing the culture in our province.

We need to empower the Human Rights Commissioner to have the resources to address these issues at a systemic level and most importantly we need an all-Party committee that meets regularly to address systemic racism in the provincial institutions.

3. What can you do to the Chinese Canadians, to protect them from racism and discrimination and how will you engage with the Chinese Canadians if you are to be elected? 

I’m pleased to see the commitment to the Chinese Canadian Museum. I believe that creating opportunities to learn about all cultures reduces discrimination. We must continue to provide the resources necessary to combat racism at all levels, work with communities experiencing racism, support victims of racist acts and develop cultural sensitivity and humility programming our education system to ensure that future generations are given better information and more honest account of our history in an effort to shift the perspectives toward a more inclusive, caring and kind society.

BC Liberals Candidate RJ Senko -Esquimalt-Metchosin

1. Do you think there is systemic racism in Canada? If so, how will you advocate to fight against systemic racism if you are elected? 
Yes. Our platform contains various commitments on this issue. On a personal note, it is only by bringing all voices to the table that we can develop policies, programs and services that respect all views and ensure inclusion and equality are more than just words or aspirations.

2. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified racism against Canadians with Asian heritage. What will you do in turn of policy making, or community engagement if you are elected? 
Discrimination on any basis is unacceptable and must be publicly denounced whenever it occurs. We also need to enhance the school curriculum to better educate children on our history and cultural awareness. Our platform also calls for cultural and sensitivity training for police around the province. I will also reiterate my commitment to bringing all voices to the table.  

3. What can you do to the Chinese Canadians, to protect them from racism and discrimination and how will you engage with the Chinese Canadians if you are to be elected? 
I strongly believe the first and most important job for any MLA is to engage and listen to constituents. If elected, I commit to being available to all constituents and acting on their issues.

BC Libertarian Candidate Eli Gagne – Chilliwack-Kent

I can answer those questions with one answer. I don’t think any race should deal with any kind of racism. I don’t believe in “protecting” or “supporting” a specific group in particular in regards to this subject. Can’t ask for equality while at the same time bringing to light for a specific group segregated by the rest.  I will fight for ALL races for us ALL to be in peace and harmony.  I hope this response is more than satisfactory to you! Thanks for reaching out! 

BC Green Candidate LIA VERSAEVEL – NANAIMO

Thank you for your thoughtful letter. I am deeply concerned about the amount of systemic racism that exists in our country and province. B.C. Greens recognize that this problem exists and that we need systemic change to resolve it.In terms of specific policy, B.C. Greens would bring in a B.C. Accessibility Act to break down barriers, advance human rights, and promote fairness and equity. We also have several other platform policies which focus on achieving equity and inclusion for Indigenous peoples and those of African descent.As your MLA, I would meet with representatives of the Chinese Canadian community to discuss how they have been affected by the increase in racist incidents, and work with them to find solutions, along with other community organizations, media, and the RCMP.It saddens me that the Chinese Canadian community has had to endure this. Racism should have no place in Canadian society.With courage.

BC Green Candidate Andrew Williamson – Burnaby Lougheed

1. Do you think there is systemic racism in Canada? If so, how willyou advocate to fight against systemic racism if you are elected?

Yes, there is systemic racism in Canada. As a first generation Canadian from settler culture and a white man, I work to listen and learn from my colleagues about racism and how we can combat it. Racism damages all of us and the success of our province requires that we
work together and support each other, regardless of our country of origin, sexual orientation or gender.

2. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified racism against Canadians with Asian heritage. What will you do in turn of policy making, or community engagement if you are elected?

I am very interested in hearing from your members what they feel we need to implement in terms of policy and engagement on this issue. It’s something I’m very committed to but am aware I need guidance on this issue from those affected. I do not believe there is any place
for racism in Canada, or BC, during the pandemic or anytime. I’ve been committed to this in my personal life and work life.

3. What can you do to the Chinese Canadians, to protect them from racism and discrimination and how will you engage with the Chinese Canadians if you are to be elected?

I think building relationships between the provincial government and the Chinese Canadian community is the key first step to protecting from racism and discrimination. I look forward to these discussions, and learning from the work that’s already been done, should I be
elected.

BC Liberals Richmond Candidates – Teresa Wat, Alexa Loo, Jas Johal, Matt Picairn (responded by Teresa Wat on their behalf)

I’m pleased to respond on behalf of our Richmond BC Liberal candidates.
First, let me say we are truly fortunate to live in a province with rich cultural diversity and heritage. It is one of our great strengths. I served as the Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism from 2013-2017, where I was honoured to take a leadership role on this topic. I firmly believe we must work to eliminate systemic-racism in our institutions, and to ensure that the rights of all British Columbians are respected under the law.

In response to your questions:

1. Do you think there is systemic racism in Canada? If so, how will you advocate to fight against systemic racism if you are elected?

Yes. We will support the establishment of province-wide standards to eliminate arbitrary racial-profiling practices. This includes ensuring all government services are free of racism and prejudice, and require all government offices to follow anti-racism policies. We must also continue our efforts in the broader community to eliminate systemic racism.

2. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified racism against Canadians with Asian heritage. What will you do in turn of policy making, or community engagement if you are elected?

This has been a concern since the onset of the pandemic and a very unfortunate event. We will work to ensure dignity and equality for all British Columbians, by requiring police services to actively adopt anti-racism and anti-discriminatory conduct policies. We would also work with police to defuse conflicts on our streets, by increasing the use of non-armed community-policing patrols.

3. What can you do to the Chinese Canadians, to protect them from racism and discrimination and how will you engage with the Chinese Canadians if you are to be elected?

This speaks to the answers provided in question 1. We are committed to standing against racism in all its forms, and if honoured with election, we will continue to meet with stakeholders to hear their concerns and find ways to do just that.

Sincerely

BC NDP Candidate Anne Kang – Burnaby Deer Lake

1. Do you think there is systemic racism in Canada? If so, how will you advocate to fight against systemic racism if you are elected? 

Yes, unfortunately there is indeed systemic racism in Canada. 

I recognize that systemic racism appears in virtually all of our institutions, and in order to recognize and reconcile with this, we have to modernize the Multiculturalism Act that hasn’t been updated in 25 years. We need a new, Anti-Racism Act, and the BC NDP government is committed towards doing this. 

While new legislation is sorely needed, we also need better, race-based data. When I served as the Minister of Citizens’ Services and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism, I began consulting with the BC Human Rights Commissioner and the Privacy Commissioner on devising a framework for collecting race-based data.

Additionally, while systemic racism is exactly that — systemic — and permeates in all sectors of our society, it is particularly harmful when it appears in our policing institutions. The BC NDP government struck the Special Committee to Review the Police Act this past summer, and we are committed to continuing this work.  

2. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified racism against Canadians with Asian heritage. What will you do in turn of policy making, or community engagement if you are elected? 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and began leading to an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes, I was serving as the Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism and secured $1.9 million in additional funding in the Economic Recovery Plan to support anti-racism programming and efforts.

I believe that racism can sometimes originate from a place of misunderstanding. That’s why we are committed to recognizing South Asian heritage by creating a new museum focused on South Asian heritage and history in Canada, as well as honouring and remembering the stories of Japanese Canadians who experienced the internment camps by ensuring that their stories can be found in our legislature and libraries.  

3. What can you do to the Chinese Canadians, to protect them from racism and discrimination and how will you engage with the Chinese Canadians if you are to be elected? 

As a daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, I know how important it is to engage with Chinese Canadians in our mother tongue and through the events that are important to our communities. 

As the MLA for Burnaby-Deer Lake from 2017-2020, I was a strong advocate for my constituents who dealt with various issues and experienced significant language barriers. Many of these individuals are also elders, and do not have the kind of technology literacy that younger folks have access to, so this makes it increasingly important that there are advocates in the Legislature who recognize their challenges. 

I also believe that telling my own stories and acting as a bridge is important. As an elected official, there is immense privilege and power that comes with having a platform. I hope to use this to communicate with those who may otherwise harbour these biases. 

BC Green Candidate Norine Shim – Burnaby North

1. Do you think there is systemic racism in Canada? If so, how will you advocate to fight against systemic racism if you are elected? 
Yes, I do think there is systemic racism in Canada. As a Chinese Canadian myself; my family and I have regularly been subjected to racist views, comments, and attacks. By electing more minorities, like myself, to government, we are able to bring these lived experiences to our legislation. If we continue to expect those who have never experienced systemic racism, to come up with solutions to systemic racism, we will never see meaningful progress. 
2. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified racism against Canadians with Asian heritage. What will you do in turn of policy making, or community engagement if you are elected? 
Chinese Canadians are often associated with the CCP. We as people of Chinese heritage have to ensure this distinction is made. Many fear speaking up against the CCP, and for good reason. We’ve seen the many human rights atrocities perpetrated by the oppressive communist government. 
I commit to standing up for Asian Canadians. Legislators of non-Asian descent, do not want to risk making a potentially “racist” comment, and stay out of the conversation. We as Chinese-Canadians, must take the lead in standing up for the Asian community, in light of the fallout from COVID-19. 

As a Canadian born Chinese, I am able to bridge the gap between cultures. As your MLA, I will work diligently to promote connections between all communities. Only when we understand each other, can we stop hating each other.   

3. What can you do to the Chinese Canadians, to protect them from racism and discrimination and how will you engage with the Chinese Canadians if you are to be elected?   

I will push for stronger legislation to protect all people from hate crimes. Racism has no place here, and we must combat it with prevention, education, and corrective action. Those who have not felt heard or understood by an innately racist system, will find compassion and empathy in me as a leader. If elected to be your MLA, I will stand resolutely with all people, to protect them from hate, racism, and abuse. 

Thank you for your consideration. 

BC Green Candidate Peter van der Velden – Delta South

The Green Party has a strong stance against racism that is developed by our six core principles:

Our six core principles

Participatory Democracy
Working to create proportionally elected governments that represent and engage citizens.

Sustainability
Using natural resources wisely to protect the rights and needs of future generations.

Social Justice
Acknowledging that all humans have a fundamental right to health, wellbeing, and freedom.

Respect for Diversity
Protecting and valuing all cultures and individuals while conserving variety in the natural world.

Ecological Wisdom
Learning to live within the physical and biological limits of our Earth and to protect its life-giving nature.

Non-Violence
Safeguarding people’s security and freedom through cooperation and consensus building.
As you can see, three of those principles would apply to your concerns. I suspect that we would look at your appeal seriously should we get elected. Having said that, there would be legal considerations and a need to look at our international agreements.

The BC Greens will always speak the truth about the issues. They focus on the outcomes we want to achieve, and use data, evidence and science to find the best solutions to get us there.

This is likely not the answer you are looking for but I hope it will be enough for you to consider voting BCGreens.

BC Libertarian Sandra Filosof-Schipper – Vancouver Fairview

I am disgusted that people are blaming our Chinese community for the actions or perceived actions of CCP.  The Chinese have been in Canada longer than almost every other ethnic or national group, for heaven’s sake!  As an immigrant myself, the statistics you shared give me a feeling of dread.  But I will not despair and neither should you.  Our party is determined to assure the freedom and safety of every person in BC, regardless of race, country of origin, or anything else.  The law already offers protections against racism, but I think these changes in attitude can be made on a societal level.  The BCLP would sponsor public service announcements condemning racism of all sorts, but as necessary, specific to the Chinese community and the disinformation circulating in relation to COVID 19.  Also, if necessary, we would advocate for putting more police on the ground to protect our citizens.  Racism, threats, and intimidation have no place in a just society.

BC NDP Candidate Katrina Chen – Burnaby Lougheed

Thank you kindly for reaching out to me.
Below are my answers to your questions:
1. Do you think there is systemic racism in Canada? If so, how will you advocate to fight against systemic racism if you are elected? 
Of course. As a woman of colour, I have personally experienced the impact systemic racism could make on individuals. 
We need to address the issue of systemic racism through concrete actions. For example, as soon as the BC NDP became government in 2017, we quickly started the work to bring back the Human Rights Commission to tackle racism and hate crime – which, unfortunately,  was dismantled by the BC Liberals. Our BC NDP government is also one of the first governments in the world to enshrine the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in law. But the work cannot stop here. 
We need to take every step possible to ensure that we can address the root causes of racism by bringing in legislation that paves the way for race-based data collection – an essential part in continuing to modernize sectors like policing and health. We also need to ensure that we start the work through public education, bringing in appropriate learning materials for our young learners through our curriculum.  2. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified racism against Canadians with Asian heritage. What will you do in turn of policy making, or community engagement if you are elected? 
As mentioned above, we need to take every step possible to tackle racism through public education, through bringing in legislation, through the re-established Human Rights Commission, through modernizing our public service sector and many more. 
As an elected representative, I will always do everything I can to bring awareness to these important issues through supporting local causes, public education, taking concrete actions and speaking out as I have always been. 3. What can you do to the Chinese Canadians, to protect them from racism and discrimination and how will you engage with the Chinese Canadians if you are to be elected? 
We need to take all the concrete steps possible including many of the actions I already mentioned above in my previous answers – through public education, through bringing in legislation, through public education, through the re-established Human Rights Commission and through other actions that can help to stop racism and discrimination. 
We also need to speak out when discriminative behaviours and racist incidents happen. We need to recognize systemic racism exists and encourage more dialogue not only with Chinese Canadians, but with everyone in our community. This has to be a collective effort. The whole community needs to work together to fight against racism, recognize the challenges and gaps currently exist and move forward together. 
BC NDP is the only party that has done substantive work to fight against racism. Other than the work I’ve already mentioned above, John Horgan and our team has also brought the first Chinese Canadian History Museum and funded projects across BC through Resilience BC, a province-wide anti-racism network. We are also committed to build the first South Asian Museum in BC. We’ve already taken many concrete actions to fight against racism when the BC Liberals took away the Human Rights Commission when they were in power. We have a proven track record and we will continue to do more.
Thank you kindly for reaching out.

BC Green Candidate Kerri Wall – Kootenay East

Thank you so much for your email. Eliminating racism is one of my primary goals, and I have been actively participating in and leading anti-racism initiatives for over 20 years. Early this summer I founded the Fernie Awareness and Accountability Project to get more white people talking about racism and how to be anti-racist. I organized 2 public events where folks talked about their experiences of racism and learning more about white supremacy. 

Here is a website for the project: https://www.subscribepage.com/awarenessandaccountabilityproject

I really appreciate that Maple Leafs Anti-Racism Actions Association exists. Organizations like yours are so valuable and needed now as much as ever before. Thank you for your advocacy work on this vital issue. 

When I’m not running for public office I work full-time in a union position (BCGEU) with Interior Health. I am also leading health equity work at IH and supporting colleagues who identify as people of colour to lead in this area too. I partner with one of my counterparts who is Chinese to train our team in anti-racist practices.

There is absolutely systemic racism in Canada. If I am elected I will continue to fight against racism by calling it out and centering the experiences of people who are targeted by racism. I will continue to educate myself by listening to the thinking of people of colour and Indigenous folks, and advocating to get their needs met. I acknowledge my privilege as a person who does not experience racism and as a person who has benefited from white supremacy. I have a responsibility to correct the injustices of our racist systems. 

I do realize that the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified racism against Canadians with Asian heritage. If I am elected I will work with people from the Asian communities to hear what they need and what policy changes they suggest. Government is a service to enhance the well-being of citizens and residents; my job will be to give those with context expertise a voice and advocate on their behalf.  If I am elected, I will connect closely with Chinese Canadians to understand the particular threats of racism they are experiencing and advocate on their behalf for health equity, tolerance, and justice. 

Thank you and keep up the good work!

BC Green Canadidate Maayan Kreitzman – Vancouver False Creek

Dear Ivan,

I’m so sorry for the late response to this, and I’m so grateful for anti-racism work that you’re doing. I’m well aware of the surge in ati-asian racist incidents in Canada with the covid-19 pandemic – I learned about the magnitude of this through Project 1907 and the “eliminat8hate” campaign who published a useful infographic using a new self-reporting platform (copied below). It’s so important that the Asian Canadian community has space to speak about these unacceptable incidents and be heard by the broader community. 

The BC Green party has a platform plank on equity, inclusion and anti-racism which you might find useful here: https://www.bcgreens.ca/equity_and_inclusion. It unfortunately doesn’t speak to the rising incidents of anti-Asian racism specifically so I will do my best to answer your questions on my own behalf:

1. Do you think there is systemic racism in Canada? If so, how will you advocate to fight against systemic racism if you are elected? 
Yes, there is systemic racism in Canada. It will take systemic change to ensure that we move beyond words to achieve the outcomes we all wish to see. The BC Greens have and will continue to put forward systemic solutions to systemic issues with evidence-based policies. To accomplish this, stimulus spending should target opportunities to correct the underrepresentation of certain genders or demographics in specific sectors, such as caring professions and trades. It should apply a “Gender-Based Analysis Plus” (GBA+) and Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People Act (DRIPA) lens in policy development and implementation, address structural inequalities in wages and build on the work underway to develop a suite of genuine progress indicators to provide a more holistic view of the health of our economy.

2. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified racism against Canadians with Asian heritage. What will you do in turn of policy making, or community engagement if you are elected? 
As a member of the Jewish community I know what it’s like to be part of a group that’s targeted, and am committed to sharing knowledge and solidarity. I would support community led initiatives like Project 1907 and “eliminat8hate” campaign organized by Vancouver Asian Film Festival to track anti-asian hate incidents and encourage self-reporting. I would also support the BC office of the human rights commissioner in its collaboration with asian community groups to run campaigns  and education focusing on anti-asian racism.

3. What can you do to the Chinese Canadians, to protect them from racism and discrimination and how will you engage with the Chinese Canadians if you are to be elected? 

Both Jews and Asian communities occupy a middle space which is very challenging – we need to maintain and create space for our own experiences of racism and discrimination, and giving these appropriate weight (and collecting data about this),  – but also acknowledge and stand with Black and Indigenous communities that experience racism in more violent ways. All these oppressions are related. Whether it’s anti-semitism, anti-asian, anti-black, anti-indigenous  – these are all related and we all need to stand together, not as if there opressions are somehow competing with each other. We need to be in solidarity with each other’s struggles and amplify them as much as we can.

Thanks so much for this opportunity to engage with MLARA.

Sincerely,

Maayan Kreitzman

BC Greens candidate for Vancouver False Creek

BC Green Candidate Erik Minty – Port Coquitlam

Hello Ivan,
Thank you for putting this important issue forward. I apologize for the delay in responding as I had technical issues accessing this email account until now.
There is absolutely without question systemic racism in this country. As a person of privilege I don’t witness it every day but having traveled in Asia I’ve experienced it in very small doses. Just enough that I can recognize it exists here to a much larger extent.
We can start with a commitment – the BC Greens recognize that this is an issue and are committed to finding evidence-based solutions to address it. Acting on the pending results of the Police Act review is a start but it’s not going to address all the concerns of the Asian community in particular. Personally I believe one of the most important contributors to racial intolerance is ignorance – people fear what they don’t understand, and fear creates anger and sometimes hatred. 
Unfortunately I don’t have the answer you’re looking for but the questions are important. One of my personal commitments as MLA will be to create more opportunities to constructively listen to people’s concerns. Public and special-interest town halls will be a start, as well as private conversations with leaders from larger organizations to listen to the concerns of the people they represent.
As leaders it is our responsibility to do this. It is the only way we can govern effectively – unfortunately I feel it is sorely missing today.
SincerelyErik
—Erik Minty2020 MLA Candidate, Port CoquitlamBC Green Party

BC Green Candidate Chris Istace –

I apologize that we have not had a chance to get back to you sooner. As you can imagine, with an election foisted on us unexpectedly, it has been a busy few weeks. While I can not answer specifics, I can say that Chris condemns racism of any kind…in Canada and around the world. The following is a statement from the B.C. Green Party: 
We stand against hate and racism. As a political party in a country founded upon colonialism, we acknowledge the part we play in the perpetuation of systemic racism in BC. It’s our responsibility to fight for justice, equity and representation in our party and politics.”  
I have passed your letter on to Chris, so that once the election is over he may give it the proper attention it deserves. 
Regards,
Deraek Menard

Campaign Manager
BC Greens’ Campaign to elect Chris Istace

BC NDP Candidate Langford Juan de Fuca –

Hello Ivan and thanks for the opportunity to respond.
1. Do you think there is systemic racism in Canada? If so, how will you advocate to fight against systemic racism if you are elected? Yes, it is undeniable that systemic racism exists in Canada and negatively impacts many Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour (IBPOC) and our society as a whole. While in government, we worked to tackle systemic racism and promote anti-racism through reestablishing the BC Human Rights Commissioner, legislating UNDRIP, creating new programs like Resilience BC, while continuously learning from the lived experiences of IBPOC communities. If re-elected, we will ensure that the Office of the BC Human Rights Commissioner remains active, unlike the BC Liberals who dismantle it every time they come to power. Before the election, our government began a competitive bidding process to establish community-based Resilience BC spoke organizations to work with the provincial hub to address racism and hate at local and regional levels. Should we form government, we will continue to support these hub and spoke organizations of the Resilience BC network to increase their capacity to challenge racism at the community level. Our platform also makes the following commitments to address racism:
• Delivering a new law to take on racism: With B.C.’s Multiculturalism Act now 25 years old, we will conduct a full review of anti-racism laws in other jurisdictions and launch a full stakeholder consultation leading to a new AntiRacism Act that better serves everyone in B.C.
• Ensuring better representation in the public sector: To create a more representative public sector, we will support increased IBPOC (Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour) representation within government and set targets for IBPOC representation in the public sector.
• Carrying out a modernization of the Police Act: Based on recommendations of the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act, we will modernize the Police Act, with priorities on: tackling systemic racism, creating a dedicated hate crime unit within local police forces, and reviewing training and procedures related to ‘wellness checks’.
• Bringing forward legislation to help reduce systemic discrimination: We will work with B.C.’s new Human Rights Commissioner and other stakeholders to introduce legislation that paves the way for race-based data collection essential to modernizing sectors like policing, health care and education
• Improving the ability of immigrants to participate in the workplace by streamlining foreign credential assessments, and making sure immigrants can more easily strengthen their language skills and access job opportunities in their field of training.
• Creating a more welcoming province by setting up a new one-stop-shop for newcomers and the settlement sector to raise key issues related to immigrant integration, policy, and services.

2. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified racism against Canadians with Asian heritage. What will you do in turn of policy making, or community engagement if you are elected? Our government publicly denounced – and continues to denounce – this intensified racism toward Canadians of Asian heritage due to COVID-19. We call on British Columbians to stand together to call out racism and discrimination when we see it. If we are re-elected, we will continue to support the existing anti-racism policies and programs that are mentioned above and implement the new policies in our platform. Educating British Columbians on the often overlooked and important contributions Canadians of Asian heritage have made to our province is another avenue of policy and community engagement that we plan to take as part of our strategy to tackle racism. In our platform, we commit to: • Building a new South Asian-Canadian museum: We’ll embark on a project to create a first-of-its-kind museum to document the history, art and contributions of South Asian people in BC • Honouring the Japanese-Canadian community: We’ll provide lasting recognition of the traumatic internment of more than 22,000 Japanese-Canadians during World War II in libraries, communities and at the BC Legislature. 3. What can you do to the Chinese Canadians, to protect them from racism and discrimination and how will you engage with the Chinese Canadians if you are to be elected? If re-elected, we will continue to implement our existing and proposed policies and community engagements strategies to protect Chinese Canadians from racism and discrimination. We believe that all forms of racism and discrimination are unacceptable, including the targeted racism that Chinese Canadians face in our province. Our strength is in our diversity and we reject all forms of racism, discrimination, intolerance, and bigotry. Our actions to create a Chinese Canadian Museum, including a hub in Vancouver’s Chinatown, along with our continued work to partner with the City of Vancouver to have Vancouver Chinatown designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, will also offer more opportunities for our government to engage with the Chinese Canadian Community. Going forward, we are committed to continuing to work closely with the Chinese Canadian community in BC to further address systemic and institutional racism.  

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