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

Okanagan teenagers found after missing for four days

The pair, believed to be dating, had been missing since Nov. 15.

Vernon player lifts Canada to Davis Cup tennis win

Vasek Pospisil captures singles and doubles matches to help Canada beat Italy 2-1 on opening day

Two-vehicle Vernon crash ‘looks worse than it is’

Nobody injured in accident that happened just before 5 p.m. in 2800 block of 45th Avenue

Kamloops woman sues Armstrong IPE for Slingshot mishap

Woman claims ride gone wrong caused injury, loss of wages and other damages

Lake Country burglars on the loose after attempted robbery

Two masked individuals tried to empty the Turtle Bay Pub’s ATM on Monday morning

Investigation ongoing in south Vernon shots fired

RCMP have no updates from Nov. 1 incident

Student tells B.C. Supreme Court she wasn’t allowed to leave Indigenous smudging ceremony

Girl cross-examined Monday in Nanaimo courtroom, case continues Tuesday

Trans Mountain received $320M in government subsidies in first half 2019: report

The money included $135.8 million in direct subsidies and $183.8 million in indirect subsidies

Ottawa urges CN and union to continue talks as 3,200 workers go on strike

The rail workers began their strike after failing to reach a deal by a midnight deadline

Missing hunter located by Central Okanagan Search and Rescue

The hunter went missing after being separated from his partner around 5:30 p.m. on Monday

Penticton artist brings joy to others through her painting

Hedy Munawych is 96 years old and just loves painting the beauty of the world around her.

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Most Read