TORONTO, May 1, 2018 – In 2002, following the adoption by the Canadian Senate of a motion proposed by Senator Vivienne Poy, the Government of Canada declared the month of May to be a time to celebrate the culture and accomplishments of Canadians of Asian heritage.
“The Asian community has overcome many challenges since its arrival in Canada,” said Albert Lo, Chairperson of the Board, CRRF. “The sting of discrimination was felt by many communities through policies and legislations such as the Head Tax and Chinese Exclusion Act that injured the Chinese community, the Continuous Journey regulation that was devised to discourage immigration from Japan and India – made infamous by the incident of the Komagata Maru - and the forced relocation and dispersion of the Japanese community during and after the Second World War. These incidents, highlighted in the CRRF’s educational resource, Doing the Right Thing, represent episodes in history when Canada did not act properly. That over time, apologies have been offered to the affected communities, most recently to the Chinese community of Vancouver, speaks to a wisdom that can come with the passing of time, and the healing that comes with the recognition of the dignity to which all humans are entitled as an inalienable right.”
“The original declaration for Asian Heritage Month makes explicit reference to diversity as being one of our country’s greatest strengths. That is truer in 2018 than at any other time in our history,” said Dr. Lilian Ma, CRRF Executive Director. “Canada has been enriched by the Asian community’s accomplishment in fields across the spectrum of endeavour. As athletes, actors, artists, architects and medical researchers, and more, they have brought acclaim to Canada and held our flag high in so many ways. As elected and appointed officials they have served with distinction and brought honour to public service. As soldiers and members of law enforcement services they have protected our streets and our shores with honour and courage.”
Doing the Right Thing, an educational resource created by the CRRF, may be downloaded at no charge from our website at https://www.crrf-fcrr.ca/en/news-a-events/articles/item/26830-doing-the-right-thing
About the Canadian Race Relations Foundation
The purpose of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation is to facilitate throughout Canada the development, sharing and application of knowledge and expertise in order to contribute to the elimination of racism and all forms of racial discrimination in Canadian society. The work of the Foundation is premised on the desire to create and nurture an inclusive society based on equity, social harmony, mutual respect and human dignity. Its underlying principle in addressing racism and racial discrimination emphasizes positive race relations and the promotion of shared Canadian values of human rights and democratic institutions.
For more information
Rubin Friedman, Spokesperson - (647) 403-8526