Monday, June 17, 2024

Province calls on British Columbians to help shape anti-racism legislation


BC is calling on its residents to share their views on how the government can do better by its people when it comes to systemic racism within the province.

An online questionnaire has been launched by the province to help gather as many perspectives as possible before determining how to approach dismantling systemic racism. 

This is a big opportunity for the people of BC to hold its government responsible and have their voices heard. 

According to the province, new legislation will be guided by the questionnaire’s results and will be guided and developed in partnership with Indigenous partners from across BC. The new legislation will be introduced sometime in 2024 and will build off the Anti-Racism Data Act brought in in 2022.

What the new act is aiming to do, is to identify gaps and barriers which impact BIPOC British Columbians while accessing public services.

The Anti-Racism Data Act identified that systemic racism exists within the provincial services structures and this new legislation will begin to dismantle the systems which uphold racism — this could include editing policies and programs or even changing existing legislation. 

Given that BIPOC British Columbians aren’t the only ones who have to navigate barriers in the system, organizations which are rooted in intersectionality, 2SLGBTQIA+, race and faith are being called-in by the province to apply for $5,000 grants to hold engagement sessions on the legislation.  

The questionnaire will be available in 15 languages and will remain open until September 30th. 

It begins by gathering some demographic information from participants, then the questionnaire digs in deep to the issues and how British Columbians want anti-racism to be addressed. It takes only 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

Curtis Blandy

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