Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson make a formal apology to the Chinese community. (Vancouver Mayor’s Office)

Vancouver’s Chinese community receives apology for historical discrimination

More than 500 people gathered at the Chinese Cultural Centre for the event

Vancouver city council has delivered a formal apology to the Chinese community for historical discrimination.

Mayor Gregor Robertson, who read the apology in the English, said it was an important day to come together, recognize wrongdoings and build a better future.

The apology publicly acknowledged past legislation, regulations and policies of previous city councils that discriminated against residents of Chinese descent.

Former city councils barred residents of Chinese descent from voting until 1948, and from civic employment until 1952.

They also advocated for discriminatory policies like the federal head tax, and made various attempts at segregating public spaces like swimming pools and cemeteries.

More than 500 people gathered at the Chinese Cultural Centre for the event, which was part of a larger Chinatown Cultural Day celebration.

Former Vancouver City councillors Maggie Ip and Bill Yee read the apology in Cantonese and the Sze Yup dialect.

The City of New Westminster became the first B.C. municipality to formally apologize to Chinese-Canadians for past discrimination in 2010.

In 2015, Chinese-Canadians received an apology from then-premier Christy Clark on behalf of British Columbia for more than 100 racist laws, regulations and policies of past B.C. governments.

Premier John Horgan called Sunday’s apology “necessary and important.

“Members of the Chinese community were denied basic human rights, including the right to own property and live in a neighbourhood of their choosing. Families were broken apart by the head tax,” Horgan said in a statement.

“They were denied the right to vote, and to hold public office. They were restricted to working in dangerous and undesirable jobs, and they couldn’t freely pursue an education.”

In 2006, the federal government offered an apology for the head tax imposed on Chinese immigrants and included $20,000 in compensation for families or surviving people who paid the tax.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Ministry denies request for air quality monitoring in Revelstoke

Revelstoke City Council’s request that an air quality monitoring system be re-established… Continue reading

Trans Canada Highway opened again near Sicamous

Motor vehicle incident on Highway 1 between Sicamous and Malakwa closed road after 6 p.m.

Air support grounded as fires fill the skies with smoke

Heavy smoke throughout the region thwarted efforts of BC Wildfire Saturday, as… Continue reading

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Key to the SOEC 2017 winner grateful for experience

Petersen discusses what it’s like to win a year of free concerts at the SOEC

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

West Kelowna wildfire evacuation alert rescinded

Alert rescinded Saturday for properties near four lakes within the Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Key to the SOEC 2017 winner grateful for experience

Petersen discusses what it’s like to win a year of free concerts at the SOEC

In Photos: Roots and Blues 2018 day one

Michael Franti and the Lil Smokies lit up the main stage to close out a day filled with great music

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Most Read