VICTORIA – Premier John Horgan has issued the following statement marking the Qingming festival:

“Today, Chinese communities throughout the province will begin to mark the Qingming festival, also known as Tomb Sweeping Day. Over the coming days, families and descendants will visit cemeteries to sweep and beautify the graves or urns of their ancestors, bring flowers and celebrate warmer spring weather.

“Qingming is a time to honour the experiences of previous generations of Chinese Canadians, and it’s important that we preserve the history, achievements and cultural vibrancy of the Chinese Canadian community in B.C. That’s why our government has helped fund the restoration of the Chinese Pavilion at Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver and recently opened the first Chinese Canadian Museum in Canada.

“The Qingming festival places great emphasis on getting outside and reconnecting with nature. I hope individual households will take some time outdoors, walking together in their local parks or having a picnic, while paying respect to their ancestors.

“The Chinese Canadian community has helped make B.C. the strong, diverse and thriving place it is today. At a time when anti-Asian racism is on the rise, I encourage people to take action and to use their voices to speak out against racism, intolerance and discrimination.

“Our province’s history is rich and diverse. We know we are stronger as a province and a country when we come together and lift each other up.

“I wish all those celebrating Qingming a bright year ahead.”