Premier John Horgan has released the following statement to mark World Refugee Day:
“On World Refugee Day, we honour the resilience, courage and strength of the millions of people around the globe who are fleeing violence and persecution.
“We are witnessing the highest human displacement levels in recorded history. More than 68 million people are refugees, or internally displaced because of conflict or persecution based on their faith, ethnicity, political beliefs, sexuality or gender. Over half are under the age of 18 years, and many have experienced loss and trauma.
“Welcoming refugees is a proud part of British Columbia’s history. Refugees have built, shaped and enriched this province and country for hundreds of years. They are community leaders, public servants, volunteers and entrepreneurs, making B.C.’s communities stronger, more diverse, compassionate and resilient.
“At a time when other jurisdictions are cutting back support for refugees and newcomers, our government is making different choices. We are improving access to settlement supports, language training and employment services. We are working together with people and communities to build a more welcoming and inclusive province where everyone can access opportunity.
“On World Refugee Day, I send thanks to the refugee-serving agencies, private sponsors, faith communities, volunteers and citizens at large who are working to support refugees. I also want to invite all British Columbians to find ways to support refugees and newcomers in their community. It is our shared responsibility to welcome people to create a new life in this great province.
“Today, and every day, we stand together in support of refugees and the values of diversity, inclusion and mutual respect. We will always welcome those seeking refuge from persecution with hopes of a better future, and work to make life better for every person in every community in B.C.”