June 24, 2020 – The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) is concerned by the results of a recent poll which show the extent to which the coronavirus pandemic has heightened anti-Chinese sentiment in Canada.
The poll, undertaken by the Angus Reid Institute and the University of Alberta, reports that half of the 500 persons surveyed had been called names or had been insulted as a direct result of COVID-19. Of even greater concern is the finding that more than 40% of those surveyed had been personally threatened or intimidated.
“Such behaviour is an affront to the values we aspire to as Canadians, said Teresa Woo-Paw, Chairperson of the Board, CRRF. “Our responsibility as Canadians is to stand against racism and discrimination wherever it occurs and whoever the target of the moment may be. In this moment, our Chinese Canadian fellow citizens are facing racism and threats because of the colour of their skin, but tomorrow a different reason may push forward a different group to be victimized. We must stand against racism, today, tomorrow and every day.”
“What is truly heartbreaking in these results is the sense of rejection experienced by members of the Chinese community, “said Dr. Lilian Ma, CRRF Executive Director. “While fully 88 per cent of those surveyed agreed that being Canadian was an important part of their identity, only 13 per cent felt that others accept them as Canadian. Our Canadian value of diversity is diminished – and even suspect - if it erodes so easily under the stress of our current challenges. We need to do better.”
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.