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Vancouver Chinese Community To Get Apology From City For Historic Discrimination

VANCOUVER – Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is set to issue an apology to the city’s Chinese residents for historic discrimination on Chinatown’s Culture Day.

The apology, on behalf of previous city councils, will address wrongdoings in city legislation, regulations and policies.

“In order to move forward, we must first acknowledge the harm that was committed and how this unfortunate chapter in Vancouver’s history continues to impact the lives of Chinese Canadians,” Robertson said in a news release.

B.C.’s government has a webpage dedicated to historic wrongs against Chinese-Canadians in the province. Those wrongs include Chinese-Canadian Pacific Railway workers being paid half or less than half of what their white counterparts were making and being excluded from national celebration upon the railway’s completion.

Vancouver had racist municipal legislation as well, namely its charter of 1886 that specifically barred Indigenous people and Chinese people from voting in municipal elections.

The city hopes the formal acknowledgment of failure will reaffirm Vancouver as a city focused on reconciliation.

Robertson will read it aloud in English and two former city councilors, Bill Yee and Maggie Ip, will read it aloud in Chinese on April 22. The event will also feature speakers from Vancouver’s Chinese community including a war veteran, the president of the Chinese Benevolent Association and a young woman on her vision for a vibrant Chinese community.

 

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