Vancouver authorities have decided to issue an apology to Chinese-Canadians for its historic discrimination on April. 22, which is also the city’s Chinatown Cultural Day.
China town in Vancouver
According to an announcement from the local government, the apology event will be held in Vancouver’s Chinese Cultural Center, with events featuring traditional Chinese food and dance lessons. The apology is made on behalf of previous city councils and will address wrongdoings in the city’s legislation, regulation and policies.
In addition to English, the apology will also be read in Siyi Yue and Cantonese, which are primarily spoken in Guangdong province. According to China News, such arrangements were made due to the fact that most Chinese immigrants that were discriminated against in Canada were from Guangdong.
Three Chinese-Canadian representatives, including an old veteran, a middle-aged official and a young woman will participate. They will respond to the local authorities’ apology during the event.
"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," Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson was quoted by CTV News as saying.
According to the local authorities’ report in 2017, residents of Chinese descent weren’t allowed to vote when the city incorporated in 1886 until 1948. Vancouver also encouraged discriminatory measures against Chinese residents, including charging federal head tax and barred Chinese-Canadians from civic employment between 1890 and 1952.
In 2014, a formal apology was delivered on behalf of all members of the B.C. legislative assembly to Chinese Canadians for historical wrongs committed by past provincial governments, while on May 15, 2014, the Government of British Columbia apologized to its Chinese Canadian community for the historical wrong doings.