Teresa Wat, B.C.’s Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement today to acknowledge the rich history of British Columbians of Asian descent during Asian Heritage Month:
“In recognition of the more than one million British Columbians who identify their ethnic origin as Asian, representing a wide range of language, ethnicities and religious traditions, the B.C. government is proud to proclaim May 2016 as Asian Heritage Month.
“This celebration presents a valuable opportunity to acknowledge the many contributions of British Columbians of Asian descent whose stories are weaved into the very fabric of British Columbia’s unique cultural mosaic.
“Many Asian-Canadians arrived in B.C. as early pioneers and settlers, helping to build this province and establish cultural ties between B.C. and a number of Asian countries including China, India, and Japan. The strong cultural ties developed over time with more than two dozen Asian nations are key to furthering B.C.’s international trade and investment strategy to diversify our economy and create jobs for British Columbians.
“During Asian Heritage Month, Premier Christy Clark will lead a trade mission to Korea, the Philippines and Japan. The mission will focus on maintaining and strengthening ties with markets in Korea and Japan and opening new markets in the Philippines.
“British Columbia’s Multiculturalism Act recognizes ancestry and place of origin as fundamental characteristics of B.C. society and promotes cross-cultural understanding and respect. In addition to Asian Heritage Month, British Columbia recognizes cultural diversity through Multiculturalism Week and the British Columbia Multicultural Awards. The awards honour organizations, businesses and individuals in all corners of the province working to promote multiculturalism, eliminate racism and support inclusion.
“As the most ethnically diverse province in Canada, B.C. is proof that vibrant, thriving communities depend on the participation of all citizens, including British Columbians of Asian descent.”
Click here to read the proclamation.