Check out my interview with Ronald Leung as part of the LS Times BC Liberal leadership special.
Winning the next election will require us to spend the next several years putting forward smart alternatives on big issues - from housing and healthcare, to rebuilding our economy after COVID-19 and our communities after floods and fires.
To win people over, we also need to get better at building authentic, direct, ongoing relationships with BC’s cultural communities.
In the last census, Canada as a whole was 22% visible minority; in Greater Vancouver it was 49%, with 45% being first generation immigrants. Coquitlam, Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, and Richmond were all more than 50% visible minorities.
Winning over multicultural voters is a key to winning the next election - especially young people in urban and suburban BC who share our values of working hard to build a better life for their families, but don’t see themselves in our party right now.
As I joked on Radio India in the fall, multiculturalism in our party needs to mean more than well-intentioned politicians showing up at Vaisakhi once a year, eating a samosa, taking a selfie, and calling it a day.
We can’t only talk to people from multicultural communities when there’s an election coming, we can’t rely on ethnic stereotypes to define our strategy, and we can’t be the party of box-ticking candidate quotas.
The way the next generation thinks and talks about multiculturalism is very different. We have grown up together, eating each other’s food, consuming each other’s culture, and marrying each other. Multiculturalism is no longer some abstract aspiration - it’s an everyday reality on the ground. Metro Vancouver has the highest rate in Canada of mixed families like mine. Our party’s approach needs to catch up with that reality and move past transactional “ethnic outreach” to helping our whole team get better at working fluently across cultures.
Under my leadership, we’ll make simple, authentic changes to strengthen community within our BC Liberal family. For example, our conventions will look like multicultural food fairs - because there’s no better way to build authentic bridges across communities than by breaking bread together.
The next generation of multicultural Canadians expect to see themselves reflected as first class citizens in political parties that seek their support, with real seats at the table. They expect political leaders to engage them directly, not through power brokers.
This is no longer a politically correct “nice to do” - it’s a necessity.
And I’ll get the job done.
The time to renew our party is now, not later.
Let’s look to the future, move forward together and win.
Our momentum is surging as we enter the final days of this race. We can win this leadership and then defeat the NDP, but we need your help to keep driving renewal and bringing Gavin's positive message of unity and renewal to party members all across the province. If you can afford to donate $8, $88, or $888, please click here.