Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business, and Economic Development Kicked off the Asian Heritage Month to shed some light on the legacy of some amazing Asian Canadians that helped to build Canada.
“This year, we celebrate 20 years of taking the time to highlight the history, achievements, and contributions, past and present, of people of Asian descent in Canada while continuing our fight against anti-Asian racism,” Mary Ng said in a press release.
“From being foundational to the building of our country for more than a century to employing thousands of Canadians in their small businesses today and supporting our communities as professionals, teachers, caregivers, and essential workers, Asian Canadians have contributed so much from coast to coast to coast.
“We should all take time to learn more about Asian Canadian history and recognize the incredible contributions Asian Canadians have made and continue to make to our country. And while there is much to celebrate in the history of Canada’s Asian communities, we must also recognize that this history has been painful at times and that Asian Canadians continue to be targets of racism and discrimination.
“Such incidents, no matter where they happen or what form they take, subtle or overt, have no place in our society. And yet during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw a worrying rise in racist behaviour against people of Asian descent.
“These racist behaviours and beliefs erode our greatest strength, the quality that is reflected in our communities and that drives the success of our businesses at home and abroad: our diversity.
“Our government is making deliberate choices to ensure that we build an inclusive, safe, and diverse Canada for everyone.
“Through Budget 2022, our government is investing $85 million to support the work already under way to launch a new Anti-racism Strategy and National Action Plan on Combatting Hate.
“This funding builds on the important investment of $11 million in Budget 2021 for the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and for supporting racialized communities directly affected by the increase of racism during COVID-19, including by establishing a national coalition to support Asian Canadians.
“This Asian Heritage Month, join me in embracing our heritage, raising our voices, and standing together to speak out against discrimination in every corner of our country,” she added.