Gurpreet Singh: Premier John Horgan helps launch fifth annual #HandsAgainstRacism campaign in Burnaby

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      "Human Rights! Respect! Inclusion!!"

      Those three slogans were scribbled by Premier John Horgan on a white sheet to launch a campaign against racism before he left the Spice Radio studios on January 17.

      Started by Spice Radio CEO Shushma Datt on Martin Luther King's birthday in 2015, #HandsAgainstRacism has entered its fifth year.

      This was the first time that a premier had come out to kick-start the annual campaign. It encourages people to dip their hands in coloured paint and leave handprints on a white sheet with a statement against racism and discrimination.

      Horgan coloured his palm before leaving his hand print alongside the above-mentioned slogans on the sheet of white paper in the presence of the radio station's staff in Burnaby.

      Video: Premier John Horgan kicks off this year's "HandsAgainstRacism campaign.

      Earlier, he spoke with Datt on-air on a range of issues, including racism and his government’s initiative to tackle hate crimes. Under Horgan, the government has started the process to bring back the B.C. Human Rights Commission, which was dismantled by the previous Liberal government. This made B.C. the only province in Canada without such a commission.

      Notably, Horgan sent a picture of himself last year with his hand up in the air, making a vow to stop racism. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former premier Christy Clark were also pictured with their hands up in the air as part of this campaign in the past.  

      It continues through March and culminates around the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 

      The idea of asking people to colour their hands and simultaneously make a statement against racism was inspired by the Hindu festival of Holi that falls during spring.

      During Holi in India, people throw colours at each other and become one by forgetting all their class and caste differences.