The B.C. government has announced a consultation process will begin to discuss the wording for a formal apology to B.C.’s Chinese community for historical wrongs.
The Chinese community in British Columbia suffered legislated inequality and discrimination between 1885 and 1923 when multiple forms of discriminatory legislation were imposed, including the Chinese Immigration Act and again in 1923 to 1947 when Chinese individuals were restricted from entering Canada under the Chinese Exclusion Act.
Over the coming months, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism Teresa Wat will travel to communities and engage with Chinese community associations and citizens to identify wording for a formal apology.
Wat will engage all members of the legislature to provide input and work towards a formal apology which all parties of the House can support.
“A formal apology must be done properly, with meaningful dialogue and most importantly, in a respectful and collaborative manner,” said Wat. “I look forward to facilitating this process and identifying wording that the community respects.”
The input received at the consultations forums will guide the wording of a formal apology. In the next sitting of the legislature, the government plans to introduce a motion regarding a formal apology to British Columbia’s Chinese community for historical wrongs.
“The Chinese Canadian Military Museum Society applauds the B.C. government’s initiative to consult with the Chinese-Canadian community to review ways and a meaningful way to effectively convey an appropriate apology to those whose families have suffered through wrongful treatment in B.C.’s history,” said King R. Wan, president of the Chinese Canadian Military Museum Society.
The B.C. government believes that a rich multicultural society helps nurture acceptance, understanding and mutual respect. Cultural diversity, increased participation and engagement by all cultures are vitally important to create a strong and vibrant social and economic future for British Columbia.