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NEWS RELEASE · 17th March 2010
Ministry of Citizens' Services
Cultural diversity is being celebrated province wide with March 21 being proclaimed as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in B.C., announced Ben Stewart, Minister of Citizens’ Services and Minister responsible for Multiculturalism.

"This is a significant day for British Columbia as it is recognized as the most culturally diverse province in Canada," said Stewart. "We know that every community across this province is going to become even more diverse in the future, so it is important that we all do our part to make every citizen feel welcome, accepted and included."

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination commemorates those who were killed or wounded during a peaceful demonstration against apartheid on March 21, 1960 in Sharpeville, South Africa. The day, declared by the United Nations, is recognized around the world as an opportunity to raise awareness about racism and intolerance.

"As a government, we play a leadership role in multiculturalism and anti-racism," said Stewart. "Our programs help people and communities equip themselves with the tools they need to prevent and respond to incidents related to racism and hate."

"Eliminating racism and hate is a long-term goal that we should all work towards," said Dave Hayer, Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism. "While we focus on this goal, we should also celebrate the social, economic and cultural successes of our diverse province."

Since July 2009, the Province has funded 42 multiculturalism and anti- racism projects through Embrace BC. Among them is Make a Case Against Racism, a program aimed at raising awareness of intolerance and discrimination for grades 4-7 students. Other projects focus on public education, community dialogue forums and programs that address racism and hate in the workplace, schools or in the community-at-large.

More information on the Province's multiculturalism and anti-racism programs and resources can be found at www.EmbraceBC.ca.