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Statement from B.C. Green Leader Sonia Furstenau on the first day of Black History Month

February 01, 2021

VICTORIA B.C. – On the first day of Black History Month, the B.C. Green Caucus recognizes the importance of celebrating and honouring Black history, culture and contributions in B.C., and at the same time bringing forth systemic solutions to address systemic racism. B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau has issued the following statement:

“We need far more than one month to recognize the contributions that Black people and the Black community have made to our province. Black history needs to be integrated into our curricula year-round; it needs to be part of the fabric of our history as British Columbians.

“My colleague Adam Olsen and I are committed to moving forward with anti-racism and addressing systemic racism in B.C. As Adam has pointed out, we cannot address racism one silo at a time. We have to recognize that it will take systemic solutions across all our institutions to address racism effectively. 

“The B.C. Green Caucus has called on the Province to formally recognize the UN International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD), an action that is long overdue.

“Until the government moves to formally recognize the decade,  Black-led grassroots organizations will not have access to the funds set aside by the Canadian government in 2018. We only have three years left of this historic decade; the provincial government needs to act quickly to ensure Black-led organizations and Black communities can access this funding.

On top of the four recommendations made by the IDPAD B.C. Advisory Committee, the B.C. Green Caucus has called upon government to:

  • Form an all-party parliamentary committee dedicated to addressing systemic racism against those that identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Colour;
  • Work with the Public Health Officer’s team and the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner to collect disaggregated data to inform B.C.’s COVID-19 response;
  • Have the Minister of Education make a formal commitment to expand the scope of the anti-racism roundtable on education to include post-secondary studies and reform the provincial curriculum to include B.C.’s Black history; and,
  • Make targeted investments, in consultation with the IDPAD B.C. Advisory Committee and paid consultants, in the existing grassroots organizations led by Black community leaders here in B.C., so they can be eligible for the IDPAD federal funding.

“The government has yet to respond to any of our calls to action but Adam and I will continue to push for systemic solutions in the legislature.”

Sonia Furstenau released this video to mark the first day of Black History Month. 

 

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