In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic we saw a wave of anti-Asian sentiment, driven by ignorance and intolerance, spread across many parts of the province. In early May, the BC Chamber of Commerce stood publicly with Premier John Horgan and business associations across the province to state categorically that there can be “no place for hate in BC.”
Since then, an inspiring anti-racism movement has swept the planet driven by Black Lives Matter, one that is urging us to actively stand up against hate, intolerance, bias and bigotry. It is not enough to not be racist anymore. We must be actively anti-racist when it comes to Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. We must speak out against racism whenever possible – and have our actions align.
To that end, the BC Chamber of Commerce will be launching initiatives to address organizational diversity and inclusiveness, meaningful allyship of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour entrepreneurs (driven within the context of a Board Task Force), and how the organization will deepen its own listening, education, and role – today and over the long term. Timelines and specifics around these initiatives will be shared this summer, but work has begun.
Like our Canadian Chamber partners, we believe it is the diversity of all our communities that make us strong and we call upon all British Columbians to join us by speaking out against racism in all its forms. We look forward to working with our members to build a more inclusive society.