provoking thoughts about the presence of our past

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Book Launches of Journeys of Hope

Proud to be able to celebrate with the editing, translation and design team (Sarah Ling, Szu Shen, and Baldwin Wong) the publication of Journeys of Hope: Challenging Discrimination and Building On Vancouver Chinatown's Legacies, on December 3rd at UBC, and December 5 in Chinatown at UBC Chinatown's new office at 188 East Pender Street at Chinatown House.

This book is the official publication in hardcover of the commemorative softcover version that was given out on April 22, 2018, the day of the City's formal apology for historical discrimination against the Chinese in Vancouver.

We will be having a pair of Book Launch events. The first is on Monday, December 3, from 4:00-5:30pm at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC campus:
Journeys of Hope captures the story of how early Chinese migrants helped transform societies around the world, and how Chinatowns throughout Canada and the Pacific region are the living legacies of that transformation.

Please RSVP for Dec. 3 at UBC: http://bit.ly/UBCJourneysofHope


On Wednesday, December 5, from 5:00-7:00pm we will be celebrating in Chinatown at the brand new UBC Chinatown space next to the City of Vancouver's Chinatown Transformation Team in Chinatown House at 188 East Pender Street:



Please RSVP for Dec. 5 in Chinatown House on 188 E. Pender at: http://bit.ly/JourneysofHope



UBC Chinatown provides a strategic hub for partnerships between UBC and Chinatown community stakeholders. Our mission is to: foster and enhance relationships between UBC and Chinatown; ensure UBC initiatives build upon pre-existing resources and expertise; reduce unintended negative impacts on Chinatown communities from UBC initiatives; and support potential research and learning initiatives in Chinatown involving UBC units.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Pacific Futures: Past and Present

SHARE:
FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedin

ISBN-13: 9780824874452
Published: November 2018

320 pages | 4 b&w illustrations, 10 maps

Pacific Futures: Past and Present

  • How, when, and why has the Pacific been a locus for imagining different futures by those living there as well as passing through? What does that tell us about the distinctiveness or otherwise of this “sea of islands”? Foregrounding the work of leading and emerging scholars of Oceania, Pacific Futures brings together a diverse set of approaches to, and examples of, how futures are being conceived in the region and have been imagined in the past.
    Individual chapters engage the various and sometimes contested futures yearned for, unrealized, and even lost or forgotten, that are particular to the Pacific as a region, ocean, island network, destination, and home. Contributors recuperate the futures hoped for and dreamed up by a vast array of islanders and outlanders—from Indigenous federalists to Lutheran improvers to Cantonese small business owners—making these histories of the future visible. In so doing, the collection intervenes in debates about globalization in the Pacific—and how the region is acted on by outside forces—and postcolonial debates that emphasize the agency and resistance of Pacific peoples in the context of centuries of colonial endeavor. With a view to the effects of the “slow violence” of climate change, the volume also challenges scholars to think about the conditions of possibility for future-thinking at all in the midst of a global crisis that promises cataclysmic effects for the region.
    Pacific Futures highlights futures conceived in the context of a modernity coproduced by diverse Pacific peoples, taking resistance to categorization as a starting point rather than a conclusion. With its hospitable approach to thinking about history making and future thinking, one that is open to a wide range of methodological, epistemological, and political interests and commitments, the volume will encourage the writing of new histories of the Pacific and new ways of talking about history in this field, the region, and beyond.
  • Unbound Space: Migration, Aspiration, and the Making of Time in the Cantonese Pacific, by Henry Yu
    Abstract
    Over the course of the 15th century through the mid-20th century, hundreds of thousands of migrants left ports on the southern coasts of Guangdong and Fujian province in China heading out into Southeast Asia. They developed a set of circular migration networks that tied their rural villages with a diverse array of destinations throughout Southeast Asia. Beginning in the early 19th century, a specific Cantonese-speaking subset of these migrants went through the ports of Macau, Guangzhou, and then Hong Kong across and around the Pacific Ocean, creating a coherent century-long migration process that was persistent, recurring, and unique in its effect on global history. This singular process of migration, which we can label the “Cantonese Pacific,” developed a powerful conception of time that defined both geographic and social mobility, defining axes of spatial and temporal change through narratives of aspiration. Creating a future-orientation that was markedly different from the dynastic cycles of time that defined official histories of the rise and fall of Chinese imperial states, the “Cantonese Pacific” organized a powerful “futurity” that shaped the ideal “life cycle” of hundreds of thousands of long-distance migrants and the families that they left behind in rural villages. 
    This sense of a bounded future through migrating across unbounded space clashed with the innovation of spatially bound national time that defined geographic belonging in new “white settler” nations such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States in the 19th century. This conflict in definitions of the future created a century of racially exclusionary national politics all around the Pacific, as discriminatory anti-Chinese (and eventually anti-Asian) laws and practices curtailed and constrained the networks of the Cantonese Pacific. Ultimately, however, anti-Chinese policies could only bound Cantonese migrants to a limited extent. The affective power of the Cantonese Pacific’s conception of a prosperous future ignited aspirations for physical and social mobility and a desire for the acquisition of material wealth that was more effective in generating and sustaining mobility than the definitions of spatial and temporal belonging associated with the development of white settler nationhood, where a boundless undisciplined notion of time and bounded national space emphasized settlement and the acquisition of land and property.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Remembering the "Death Knell" Sounded in 2016 for Chinatown

Interesting after the recent civic election and the importance of Chinatown in discussions of the future of the city, to remember how important the work of all of the community organizers and young activists over the last three years has been to give some hope for the community. I remember the interview with Douglas Quan that led to his excellent article in the National Post in 2016, and the sense of impending doom at the time that it captured. All credit to those who have devoted so much of their lives over the last three years to Chinatown for hopefully having helped turn the tide. This weekend there was an Open House at Chinatown House on 188 East Pender Street where the City's Chinatown Transformation Team was introduced at their new office. Next to them is UBC Chinatown 唐人街, a base for our many UBC students involved in Chinatown projects, and next to us is Hua Foundation. Commitments have been made to help transform Chinatown to be worthy of a UNESCO World Heritage site designation. It will be years of hard work, and we are still a long way from feeling safe about the community's future, but what a long way we have come over the last three years...

Seniors and youth play mahjong in the concourse at Chinatown Plaza. (Mark Yuen / Postmedia News)

ARE WE WITNESSING THE DEATH OF CHINATOWN — IN VANCOUVER AND ACROSS NORTH AMERICA?

By Douglas Quan
VANCOUVER — As dusk fell over Chinatown recently, a line formed outside the entrance to Kissa Tanto, a stylish Japanese-Italian eatery named Canada’s best new restaurant this year by enRoute magazine. A trio suited up for the downtown office towers nearby sipped cocktails over candlelight at the Juniper Kitchen and Bar. Around the corner, twentysomethings seated at share tables gorged on vegan pizzas at Virtuous Pie.
Hip new restaurants and glass and concrete condos in Canada’s largest Chinatown have, some say, injected a youthful vigour into an area that has been stagnant for years...



Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Province of BC and City of Vancouver Announce Commitment to work on Chinatown UNESCO and Museum

Yesterday, on September 17, 2018, the Premier of BC and the Mayor of Vancouver announced the signing of an MOU committing the Province to work with Vancouver on obtaining UNESCO World Heritage status for Vancouver Chinatown, as well as to build a museum in Chinatown that would tell the stories of Chinese Canadian history.

I was proud that one of the speakers, along with Minister George Chow (MC), Elder Larry Grant of Musqueam, Premier John Horgan, Mayor Gregor Robertson, and His Honour Judge Bill Yee (the first Chinese Canadian elected to Vancouver City Council and former Provincial Court judge), was Sarah Ling, current President of the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC. She spoke with substance and conviction, from her own work on the history of Chinese-indigenous relations in BC, about the importance of telling the stories of relations between Chinese Canadians and other communities, and the diverse engagements that formed our history together.






Friday, August 10, 2018

Mary Keiko Kitagawa receives Order of BC


Found out last Saturday while at the Powell Street Festival that Mary Kitagawa has been announced as one of the appointees to the Order of BC. The honour is well-deserved and it was great to see a story in the Star Metro, a free local daily newspaper:

I had the great privilege of being one of the people who wrote a letter of support, so I'm proud to have played a small role in such a humble, self-effacing and yet inspiring woman getting recognition for all that's she has done for others:


To the Committee considering nominees for the Order of BC

I write this letter as a historian of British Columbia history who focuses on the long history of Asian immigration to Canada and the United States. In this capacity, I have worked at the University of British Columbia for the last 15 years, and have served the Province of British Columbia as the Co-Chair for the Legacy Initiatives Advisory Council (LIAC) that oversaw the legacy education and public history projects following the BC Legislature’s unanimous apology in 2014 for historical wrongs against Chinese Canadians. I also served as the Co-Chair of the Anniversaries of Change Steering Committee for events in 2007 marking the 100thAnniversary of the 1907 anti-Asian riots in Vancouver, as well as an Advisory Board member for the Landscapes of Injustice project at UVic currently examining the removal and dispossession of 23,000 British Columbians of Japanese descent between 1942 and 1949.

I open with this information about who I am as a scholar and public historian in order to emphasize the grounds for which I make the following statement:


Mary Kitagawa is one of the most important individuals in terms of public impact in the last twenty-five years of BC history. 


As a historian, I argue to my students that the great currents of history are borne by mass movements, social changes that reflect the aggregate actions of many people working together in concert or driven by larger shifts in economics and demography. Historians seldom argue now for viewing historical change as the results of the impact of individual “great men” such as political leaders, seeingthese individuals instead as reflections of the broader changes that they come to represent. And yet, even with the de-emphasis on the role of individuals as agents of change, there is no denying that there are some people who nevertheless cannot be considered as anything less than significant historical actors who changed the world. Some of these people do so unintentionally as catalysts or triggers—significant in their impact and yet motivated by their own particular concerns.

Keiko Mary Kitagawa, in contrast, has changed British Columbia through a series of conscious and intentional acts that have had such broad impact that it is stunning to consider that she has done all of this as a grandparent after retiring from a long career as a school teacher. If you have not met Mary Kitagawa, you will not know that she is physically tiny and at first appearance you might easily overlook her in a crowded room. That is what makes her story all the more impressive and unlikely. She is not an elected official who held political office for decades and whose accomplishments are largely due to the demands of the constituents and voters who elected her. She is not a “captain of industry” whose impact on commerce and business large or small was merely the by-product of self-interested desire for personal gainNeither is she a scientist whose discoveries were the results of the curiousity and stated goals of her profession of choice

Mary Kitagawa has changed BC society because shewas seized on two particularly significant occasions to do something merely because she believed it was the right thing to doI say merely, because such moments may pass by each one of us every day of our lives, and whether acted upon or nottheir consequence for our broader society is seldom large. But every once in a while, and in the case of Mary Kitagawa, this belief in the righteousness of your cause can indeed change the world. 

In 2007, just as the City of Vancouver had completed a year of events marking how far we had come and how much we had changed in the century since vicious anti-Asian racism in 1907 had led to days of anti-Chinese and anti-Japanese violence and rioting, Mary Kitagawa noticed an announcement that the new Federal Government Building in downtown Vancouver was to be named in honour of former Conservative Member of Parliament Howard Green. Seeing the name triggered a long ago memory, and a quick check of old newspapers confirmed the memory, that Green as an MP during 1942 had been one of the most virulently racist leaders of the political movement to remove Canadians of Japanese descent from coast British Columbia. Mary had been a young child at the time living on Salt Spring Island, and her family had lost all of their possessions and property as the result of the process of removal and exile. Howard Green had been a principal architect not only of the removal, but also of the egregious forced sale of the property and possessions of Japanese Canadians, arguing in particular that seizing theirproperty would leave them without a home to which to return. The effective ethnic cleansing of Japanese Canadians from BC has left a profound impact on our province and on Canada, for which the Federal Government apologized in 1988. So it was with a sense of dismay that Mary Kitagawa, retired schoolteacher, began a petition and campaign to not name the building after Green. The alternative was to honour someone else whose values reflected better a nation which since 1988 had admitted how wrong it had been to listen to and follow the policies of Howard Green and other political leaders who had used racism and the excuse of the attack on Pearl Harbor to implement long-cherished dreams of the racial cleansing of Japanese Canadians in BC

The campaign that Mary began succeeded in rallying enough supporters and persuading enough elected officials to reconsider the name, and the committee that oversaw the naming agreed with her argument, deciding to name the building instead in honour of Douglas Jung, the first Asian Canadian to be elected a Member of Parliament in 1957, 10 years after voting rights had been restored to non-whites in British Columbia and 85 years after they had been taken away in 1872. The name change took place in 2008, after a year in which Mary’s quiet determination and careful research persuaded countless people (many forwhom the name of a building had previously meant little or nothing), to actively care about the name of this building.

Almost immediately after this triumph of democratic, engaged civic participation, Mary Kitagawa noticed another wrong that could be made right, despite the passage of almost 70 years. Seeing that numerous universities in the United States such as Stanford, Berkeley, and the University of Washington had granted honorary degrees to Japanese American students who had been removed in 1942 and never been able to return to finish their degrees and graduate, Mary wrote a letter to UBC President Stephen Toope requesting whether the University of British Columbia might do something similar. 

Three long years later, after countless follow up letters had achieved nothing, Mary went public in her request with a story in the Vancouver Sun about her letter and the 76 Japanese Canadian students of UBC who had never been able to finish their degrees. Again, as with the renaming of the Douglas Jung Building, a strong belief in the righteousness of her cause combined with careful research and persuasive reasoning led to wide-scale support and the rapid (if long-delayed) response of the University of British Columbia. In a moving ceremony that President Toope called one of the most memorable and significant events of his 8 years as President of UBC, and which was subsequently designated in 2015 as one of the most significant events of the first century of UBC’s history, the May 2012 graduation ceremony honouring the surviving Japanese Canadian students of 1942 and their families with honorary degrees became a historic and widely reported moment that will be remembered as an iconic symbol of how British Columbians think about their moral relationship to the past

It is this idea, that Mary Kitagawa through her actions both triggered and captured the spirit of our times, that I would emphasize in your deliberations about whether she deserves to be called to the Order of British Columbia. We sit now at a point in time when for fully half of our history as a province legalized white supremacy and racial discrimination ruled in nearly every facet of daily life. We are at the other end of the latter half, when the quiet dismantling of racial apartheid and legalized discrimination has led to a recognition and acknowledgment of what we now repudiate through apologies and reconciliation processes. In this sense, Mary Kitagawa reflects the tenor of our times. And yet in focusing all of us on seemingly mundane or forgotten events—a building named after a man long dead, a number of students now in their 90s who never finished their degrees seven decades before—and infusing them with meaning and purpose and the symbolic weight of all the ideals and dreams of a better society that is inclusive and just, Mary Kitagawa is not the mere product of our circumstances, but the author of our best attempts to live up to our loftiest aspirations and goals. 

We are a better society than we were because of the brave determination and courageous struggle of women such as Mary Kitagawa. Brave because it takes courage to stand up for what you believe is right, especially if you can convince others of its meaningful purpose in the face of nonchalant dismissal. It is precisely because what MaryKitagawa has triggered was so consciously an expression of our best ideals, and yet unfulfilled in the most mundane and apathetic way, that makes her all the more heroic. Every parent who has pleaded with a teenager and been met with an oblivious shrug of the shoulders knows how difficult it is to sustain any belief in the face of such bored dismissal. And yet Mary convinced us at UBC that we should work long days every day for five months searching for the surviving 76 Japanese Canadian students and their families, and amidst our busy schedules to prioritize the planning for this singular event because it would, and did, turn out to be one of the most meaningful and rewarding things we would ever do in our lives. 

This is what Mary Kitagawa accomplished as a retired teacher armed only with the conviction that someone needed to speak for those 76 students who had never been allowed to fulfil their dreams of graduating with a UBC degree. This is the gift she gave all of those who had the privilege and honour of witnessing on that day amidst flowing tears and standing ovations, the 10 surviving students who could travel to Vancouver that sunny day to cross that stage 70 years too late. What Mary showed us is that it is never too late to make right a wrong, and that even seven decades after a world in which racism was so quotidian and mundane, that it is still worth revisiting the darkness and pain of those days for those who suffered so that we can remind ourselves of just how far we have come, and at what cost it was that we took so long to get here. 

I have been a part of a number of moments over the last two decades when recognizing and reckoning with our past has become a necessary act of atonement for moving forward together. That is the era we are in now, and it requires moments of iconic inspiration to insure that these acts of contrition are substantive and genuinely forward looking rather than easy dismissals of the past as dead and gone. Mary Kitagawa gave us the gift of bringing the past alive so that we can see its relevance to us today as a beacon for moving forward. Mary inspired in so many of us a clarion clarity about who we aspire to be in our struggles for a just and inclusive society. That is why her quiet acts of righteous determination have had such a profound and wide impactThat is why she is, in my judgment as a historian, one of the individuals who has had the most significant impact in BC over the last two decades on a sense of who we are and when we are in our long history as a society. That is why she deserves to be included in the Order of BC.


Sincerely,Dr. Henry YuAssociate Professor, Department of History, UBCPrincipal, St. John’s College, UBC

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Sold! CBC Podcast Series about Race and Vancouver Real Estate

Happy to see that the podcast hosted by Stephen Quinn and produced by Bal Brach has found a wide audience. I was honoured to be one of the interviewees who took part in this thoughtful and in-depth examination of how the debate over foreign investment and the speculative real estate market in Vancouver has been obscured by misunderstandings about the history of race and white supremacy in British Columbia.

SOLD!

 

SOLD!

CBC Vancouver journalist Stephen Quinn's love letter/Dear John letter to the city he once adored. SOLD! lays bare the anguish and the impact of the housing crisis as it threatens to rip the city apart. Stephen explores the role foreign investment plays in all of this and whether we have a hope of solving it. Relationship Status: It's complicated. 
Updated: Weekly
Download episodes from this podcast for: 3 years
Visit Show Site:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/events/cbc-vancouver-launches-original-podcast-sold-1.4631375
Subscribe:

All podcast episodes

Use the links below to download a file.
Episode 6- ‘Winning?’ 

Could foreign investment in B.C. real estate be good for the people who live and work here? Beyond the wealth accumulated by fortunate home owners, can the win-fall generated by a booming housing industry benefit us all? 
Download Episode 6- ‘Winning?’
[mp3 file: runs 00:37:56]

Episode 5 - Dirty money 

Casinos. Corruption. Money Laundering. Loan Sharking. Fraud and fentanyl. The tentacles of illicit foreign funds reach deep into the heart of Vancouver’s housing market.
Download Episode 5 - Dirty money
[mp3 file: runs 00:34:44]

Episode 4 - Selling B.C. 

How politicians, realtors, and developers marketed British Columbia to the world. They wanted us to be a 'world class' destination for investors. Now we are. Was it a mistake to woo international money into the Vancouver market?
Download Episode 4 - Selling B.C.
[mp3 file: runs 00:42:36]

Episode 3 - History 

Foreign investment in Vancouver real estate isn't new. We explore the history of foreign money in the market. 
Download Episode 3 - History
[mp3 file: runs 00:31:26]

Episode 2 - The Race Card 

The conversation should be focused on the flow of foreign capital. But has it become an attack on immigrants? Politicians and developers cynically conflate the issue while Chinese Canadians experience the tension.
Download Episode 2 - The Race Card
[mp3 file: runs 00:37:35]

Episode 1 - The Break-up 

A story of greed, race and love that goes to the heart of the fight over foreign capital in housing. The backdrop is Vancouver’s real estate boom as we shine a light on the impact the affordability crisis is having on our relationship with our city. 
Download Episode 1 - The Break-up
[mp3 file: runs 00:21:00]

Trailer 

Coming soon...A CBC Vancouver original podcast that explores how foreign investment in real estate divides community, class and culture. Veteran Vancouver journalist Stephen Quinn asks who can stay? 
Download Trailer
[mp3 file: runs 00:02:24]

Monday, April 23, 2018

City of Vancouver Formally Apologies for Historical Anti-Chinese Discrimination

On Sunday, April 22, the Mayor of Vancouver delivered a formal apology to the Chinese community of Vancouver at a Special Council Meeting held at the Chinese Cultural Centre in Chinatown. Over 600 people, many of them elders who had lived through the period for which the apology was being made, witnessed the apology being given in English, Cantonese, and Szeyup ("Four Counties") dialect, the language spoken by the majority of the Chinese in Vancouver prior to the 1960s.



The day's events went well, despite the logistical challenges of having so many people in Chinatown that day watching on a big screen at the Keefer Memorial and inside the David Lam Multipurpose Hall at the Chinese Cultural Centre. It was moving to see so many of the elders get emotional during the apology. I saw more than a few with tears in their eyes, including one of the surviving WWII vets when he was acknowledged by Lt. Col. George Ing, who spoke poignantly about their courage in volunteering to fight for Canada even though they had been denied so many rights that others enjoyed. 

The apology was first and foremost for those elders who suffered through those difficult times, and so it was moving to see what it meant to them.

A wonderful article by Gordon McIntyre of the Vancouver Sun:






Vancouver apologizes to Chinese community for injustices of the past





Imagine loving the country you were born in so much that you’re willing to sacrifice your life, if necessary, in its honour.
Imagine being turned down because of the colour of your skin.
The City of Vancouver took steps Sunday to atone for even worse injustices done to the city’s Chinese community, injustices that weren’t only formally condoned, but also actively pursued from Vancouver’s first council meeting in 1886 onward.
Following the lead of Parliament, the legislature in Victoria and city hall in New Westminster, Vancouver formally apologized for historical discrimination against the Chinese community at a special council meeting Sunday in the Chinese Cultural Centre.
“It’s a rightful and long-overdue apology,” retired Lt.-Col. George Ing said in response to Mayor Gregor Robertson’s lengthy and heartfelt mea culpa on behalf of the city and past councils.
Ing told the story of Chinatown residents volunteering to serve in the Second World War, despite being denied citizenship and the right to vote, only to be turned down on ethnic grounds.
“These were Chinese Canadians who were born in Canada,” he said. “They could not become professionals. They could not become a lawyer, a doctor, a dentist or a teacher. They could not go to a local swimming pool, in the theatre they had to sit in the back rows.
“They decided to fight for Canada and prove they were Canadians, but were rejected because they were Chinese. Can you imagine walking into a recruiting office, willing to fight for Canada … to fight for the country you live in and being rejected?”
Robertson spoke of how the first half of Vancouver’s history was awash in official and systematic racism, prejudice and discrimination directed at Chinese-Canadians.
“And yet for 60 years, rather than standing up against the injustice of racism, many of our elected officials, including mayors and councillors, used the legal power of the city to enact and expand laws targeting Chinese residents,” Robertson said. 
Point by point, the mayor listed grievous actions taken by city hall to deny Chinese-Canadians basic human rights, the right to vote chief among them: “No Chinaman or Indian shall be entitled to vote in any municipal election … ”
Those rights weren’t granted to Chinese-Canadians in Vancouver until 1949.
Families were split apart thanks in part to Vancouver lobbying the federal government to prevent Chinese from moving to Canada; people with Chinese ancestry couldn’t got a job with, or do business with, the city until 1952; Chinese-Canadians were restricted as to where they could live or run a business.
“The elected officials of the City of Vancouver used their role as leaders to sow the seeds of intolerance that emboldened individuals and groups to act upon anti-Asian discrimination,” Robertson said. “I rise today to acknowledge the darkness and suffering that anti-Chinese policies and legislation caused and to vow that never again will mayor and council stand aside in the face of racism.
“This is our responsibility in light of our dark history. This we owe today and tomorrow to those who suffered the effects of the legalized discrimination of yesterday.”
There were more than 600 people crammed, standing-room-only, into the hall inside the cultural centre for the special meeting, including Members of Parliament, the legislature, Vancouver school board and the Vancouver park board.
Among the 60 media passes that were issued were at least 20 to outlets from China, a spokeswoman said, and an overflow crowd watched proceedings outside on a big screen.
“This was not about pushing an apology out the door,” said Coun. Kerry Jang, who spearheaded the move for an official city apology. “Today was an important step for us as a Chinese community, to get some closure for a piece of history that should not be forgotten, otherwise it may in fact be repeated. That is the main message we take-away.”
Premier John Horgan released a note saying the apology was necessary and important in recognizing, remembering and condemning the historic discrimination faced by the Chinese community in Vancouver.
The legislature issued an apology of its own in 2014, citing 160 specific anti-Chinese policies enacted at the provincial level.
There is a saying that if you want an oak tree, the best time to have planted an acorn was 30 years ago. The second best time is today.
“We cannot undo historical injustices,” said Hilbert Yiu, president of the Chinese Benevolent Association. “Let’s make sure we do not repeat them.”

Some other media coverage:



https://www.thestar.com/vancouver/2018/04/22/breaks-my-heart-vancouver-apologizes-to-chinese-canadians-for-discrimination.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/city-of-vancouver-formal-apology-historical-discrimination-1.4630905


https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/article-vancouver-mayor-gregor-robertson-apologizes-to-chinese-community-for/


https://globalnews.ca/news/4160688/city-of-vancouver-issues-formal-apology-for-historical-discrimination-of-chinese-residents/


https://www.straight.com/news/1061956/photos-city-vancouver-delivers-official-apology-chinese-canadians-past-racial



It was a privilege to be a member of the City of Vancouver's Historical Discrimination Against Chinese Peoples advisory group that helped city staff with the research and consultation process over the last two years that led to the apology, and credit must go to Councilor Raymond Louie for serving as the Chair, and Wendy Au, Baldwin Wong, and other staff who did such a wonderful job with the consultation process and the report (linked here). 





I was also honoured to have had a hand in helping write the draft apology, and for being part of the group that produced the book that was given out to commemorate the day. Sarah Ling, Szu Shen, Emily Tso, Baldwin Wong, Fenella Sung, Wendy Au, John Atkin, George Ing, Hayne Wai helped create an amazing bilingual Chinese/English book in a short time, and credit goes to them as well as those such as Denise Fong and Joanne Poon who helped create and translate some of the text used from the Chinese Canadian Stories web portal.