B.C. premier says new legislation coming in wake of hate surge

After big surge in hate crimes -- particularly anti-Asian hate -- BC Premier Horgan says new anti-racism legislation is being prepared by his government. 

The Canadian Press

LANGFORD, B.C. — British Columbia's premier says violence against people of colour needs to be treated as a hate crime, in light of recent data released by Vancouver police showing a surge in anti-Asian crime last year.

Vancouver police data shows anti-Asian hate crimes rose from a dozen in 2019 to 142 incidents in 2020, a 717 per cent increase, while general hate incidents doubled.

Vancouver police said last year that the spike in Asian hate crimes coincided with the increases in COVID-19 cases last March.

Premier John Horgan says there are difficulties in prosecuting hate crimes, as opposed to violent crimes, but it is important to do so.

He says the government is working on anti-racism legislation and that Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth has reached out to police forces to emphasize the need to prosecute hate crimes.

Horgan made the comments as he launched a new co-working space for public service employees in Langford, B.C.

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