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Multiculturalism Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 321

Contents
1Definition
2Purposes of the Act
3Multiculturalism policy
4Multicultural Advisory Council
5Role of the council
6Reports
7Additional reports
8Application for grants
9Minister may provide grants
10Power to make regulations

Definition

1  In this Act, "council" means the Advisory Council on Multiculturalism continued as the Multicultural Advisory Council under section 4 (1).

Purposes of the Act

2  The following are the purposes of this Act:

(a) to recognize that the diversity of British Columbians as regards race, cultural heritage, religion, ethnicity, ancestry and place of origin is a fundamental characteristic of the society of British Columbia that enriches the lives of all British Columbians;

(b) to encourage respect for the multicultural heritage of British Columbia;

(c) to promote racial harmony, cross cultural understanding and respect and the development of a community that is united and at peace with itself;

(d) to foster the creation of a society in British Columbia in which there are no impediments to the full and free participation of all British Columbians in the economic, social, cultural and political life of British Columbia.

Multiculturalism policy

3  It is the policy of the government to

(a) recognize and promote the understanding that multiculturalism reflects the racial and cultural diversity of British Columbians,

(b) promote cross cultural understanding and respect and attitudes and perceptions that lead to harmony among British Columbians of every race, cultural heritage, religion, ethnicity, ancestry and place of origin,

(c) promote the full and free participation of all individuals in the society of British Columbia,

(d) foster the ability of each British Columbian, regardless of race, cultural heritage, religion, ethnicity, ancestry or place of origin, to share in the economic, social, cultural and political life of British Columbia in a manner that is consistent with the rights and responsibilities of that individual as a member of the society of British Columbia,

(e) reaffirm that violence, hatred and discrimination on the basis of race, cultural heritage, religion, ethnicity, ancestry or place of origin have no place in the society of British Columbia,

(f) work towards building a society in British Columbia free from all forms of racism and from conflict and discrimination based on race, cultural heritage, religion, ethnicity, ancestry and place of origin,

(g) recognize the inherent right of each British Columbian, regardless of race, cultural heritage, religion, ethnicity, ancestry or place of origin, to be treated with dignity, and

(h) generally, carry on government services and programs in a manner that is sensitive and responsive to the multicultural reality of British Columbia.

Multicultural Advisory Council

4  (1) The Advisory Council on Multiculturalism is continued as the Multicultural Advisory Council.

(2) The council consists of the members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

(3) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may set the terms of office of the members of the council.

(4) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may designate a member of the council as chair and one or more other members as vice chair.

(5) Members of the council are entitled to be reimbursed for reasonable travelling and out of pocket expenses incurred by them as members of the council.

Role of the council

5  (1) The role of the council is to advise the minister on issues respecting multiculturalism and to perform any other duties or functions specified by the minister.

(2) The council may make bylaws

(a) respecting the calling and conduct of its meetings, and

(b) creating and appointing council members to committees of the council and setting out the powers and duties of those committees.

Reports

6  (1) The council must make an annual report to the minister.

(2) In addition to the report referred to in subsection (1), the council must, at the request of the minister, report on specific matters, in the manner and at the times required by the minister.

Additional reports

7  (1) On or before May 31 of each year, every ministry and every government corporation within the meaning of the Financial Administration Act must submit an annual report to the minister setting out the initiatives that it has undertaken in the reporting period to promote the policies referred to in section 3.

(2) The minister must prepare an annual report respecting, for the fiscal year for which the report is prepared,

(a) the administration and implementation of this Act, and

(b) the activities of the council.

(3) The minister must lay the report referred to in subsection (2) before the Legislative Assembly during the session next following the end of the year for which the report is made.

Application for grants

8  (1) A not for profit organization may apply to the minister for a grant under this Act for a program.

(2) An application for a grant must

(a) set out the nature of the program for which the grant is requested, and

(b) provide any other information and records the minister may require.

Minister may provide grants

9  (1) The minister may set the criteria on which grant applications under this Act are to be assessed.

(2) On application, the minister may, in the minister's sole discretion, make a grant to an applicant under this Act out of money appropriated by the Legislature for that purpose if the grant application meets the criteria set under subsection (1).

(3) The minister may impose the terms and conditions on a grant made under this section that the minister considers appropriate.

(4) Before making a grant under subsection (2), the minister must ensure that the program in respect of which the grant application is made fosters or promotes one or more of the policies referred to in section 3.

Power to make regulations

10  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations referred to in section 41 of the Interpretation Act.