PEI

Social media campaign to address racism on P.E.I.

The newcomers association on P.E.I. is rolling out a social media campaign next week to combat some racist comments that have been circulating since the pandemic began.

Newcomers association says some clients hurt by comments they see online

A social media campaign on P.E.I. will focus on the positive contributions of temporary foreign workers. (CBC)

The newcomers association on P.E.I. is rolling out a social media campaign next week to combat some racist comments that have been circulating since the pandemic began.

Premier Dennis King expressed concerns last week about stories he has heard about the mistreatment of temporary foreign workers, and implored Islanders to uphold its reputation as a welcoming community.

Craig Mackie, executive director of the P.E.I. Association for Newcomers to Canada, says some clients are hurt by the comments they are seeing on social media.

"It saddens us that racism is still occurring on P.E.I.," he said.

It saddens us that racism is still occurring on P.E.I.​​​​​​— Craig Mackie

Mackie said the Chinese community on P.E.I. has stepped up during COVID-19 by donating personal protective equipment to hospitals and delivering food to front-line workers.

But he said Asian clients of the newcomers association have said they are "feeling a little discriminated against." 

"They're trying really hard to participate and support what's going on in P.E.I. and I think that needs to be recognized."

Mackie said the campaign will look at the positive contributions made by temporary foreign workers to the P.E.I. economy.

"We want to challenge the misinformation and some of the racism that's out there. I think that there has long been a lack of understanding or appreciation for what they do within the economy.... There are many businesses and farms and so on who could not get the things done that they need to get done without the support of temporary foreign workers."

The campaign will be presented on Facebook and Twitter. Islanders will be encouraged to share the messaging, Mackie said.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Angela Walker

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