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Promoting inclusiveness and prosperity in multicultural B.C.

As I reflect on the significance of Multiculturalism Week in British Columbia this month, I am struck by the cultural diversity of this great province. Today, one-quarter of B.C.'s population are self-identified visible minorities, making B.C. the most ethnically diverse province in Canada. As Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism, I am very interested in the success of immigrants choosing to live in B.C. Immigrants enrich our society and play an important role in our economy. Many of B.C.'s small businesses, one of the pillars of our economy, often have an immigrant behind them.

I, myself, am an immigrant, just one among the 30% of British Columbians who emigrated from another country.

When I came to Canada 25 years ago with my husband and daughter, I had never been here before. Vancouver's magnificent scenery and ample green spaces seemed alien to me compared to the densely populated city of Hong Kong where I had lived.

My family came here for the same reasons many people come to B.C. We were looking to invest and work and bring up our children here. British Columbia is appealing in so many ways, with its stable economy, diverse culture, and so many opportunities to succeed.

I've been welcomed, embraced and encouraged to participate in B.C. society in every way. When I first moved to Canada, I never dreamed that I would one day be named one of the province's 100 most influential women or that I would have the honour of serving my fellow British Columbians as a cabinet minister.

Our role in government is to create an environment in British Columbia where an inclusive and diverse population supports our shared communities. Cultural diversity and increased participation and engagement by all cultures are vitally important to create a strong and vibrant social and economic future for our province.

B.C. is a province of inclusiveness and unlimited opportunity; our cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths. I encourage everyone to reach out to your communities, your families and your neighbours to appreciate the differences that define us and to recognize that diversity enriches us all.

The Post

Caption: Govt of BC awards a multiculturalism grant program at the Vancouver Multicultural Day Committee's National Multicultural Day event.

Guest Commentary

By Teresa Wat

Minister Responsible for Multiculturalisme

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Title Annotation:EDITORIAL
Author:Wat, Teresa
Publication:The Filipino Post
Geographic Code:1CBRI
Date:Nov 27, 2014
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