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

District of houston
Council dips into surplus for highway project

Costs have risen to place utility lines underground

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

Accessibility improvements and more classrooms at the Houston Christian School should be completed by the new school year. (Houston Today photo)
Accessibility improvements coming to Houston Christian School

Construction package includes two classrooms

The soft opening of the nature centre at the Buck Creek CANFOR hatchery took place mid-April. (Angelique Houlihan photo/Houston Today)
Houston hatchery and nature centre’s upcoming events

The conservation group to host summer students this year

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Most Read