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祝贺新西敏市迈向正义之举

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发表于 2010-4-1 17:51:06 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Congratulations New West for doing the right thing

                                Posted on March 30th, 2010
by the GOOD Chinese Canadian:

Meeting on historic report on discrimination against Chinese in New Westminster
6:30 p.m. on Wednesday

March 31, 2010 at City Hall (511 Royal Avenue), New Westminster B.C.

Re: City acknowledges historic discrimination (News Leader, March 25, 2010)Kudos to New Westminster’s planning department andproject leader John Stark for the historic report on discriminationagainst the Chinese. And kudos to mayor and council for giving them thecourageous political cover.

I am curious why the report is only to 1926 when the Chineseexclusion laws weren’t repealed until 1947, and biased immigration lawsrewritten in mid-’60s. Of course Prime Minister Stephen Harper didapologize for this in 2006, vote-pandering, and garnered the photo-ops,but left the affected families wondering where the justice and honourwas in the apology.

I envy the citizens of New West who are embarking on this healing and restorative journey. Descendants of lo wah kiu(old overseas Chinese) in Canada will be paying attention. Many stillseek an inclusive redress from the federal government. Through yourwork, Canadians know better the hardships and racism our Chineseforbears overcame.

Chinese adventurers and pioneers had emotions. It’s appropriate to quote the following:
Leaving behind my writing brush and removing my sword,
I came to [the beautiful country.]

Who was to know two streams of tears would flow upon arriving here?
If there comes a day when I will have attained my ambition and become successful,

I will certainly behead the barbarians and spare not a single blade of grass.
(from Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on AngelIsland. Lai, Him Mark, Genny Lim, and Judy Yung, eds. and trans. )

We can evolve, as the writer’s feeling is not one Chinese Canadians share today.
Again, thank you New West. Now more than ever I am pleased my son was born in Royal Columbian Hospital, New West.

Sid Chow Tan
Vancouver
http://www.bclocalnews.com/greater_vancouver/newwestminsternewsleader/opinion/letters/89137897.html

New Westminster city council acknowledges historic discriminationBy Andrew Fleming – New Westminster News Leader

City council’s meeting was unusually packed with media on Mondayafternoon and the reason was likely the 10th item on the agenda.

After exhaustive research by staff into the city’s possible activeor passive role in the discrimination against the Chinese communitybetween the years 1874 to 1926, city council concluded that theirpredecessors were, in fact, guilty of racism.

A 37-page report, available on the city’s web site, contains glaringexamples from city council records that detail how Chinese-Canadianimmigrants were prohibited from voting, were forced to enroll theirchildren in segregated schools and were accused of stealing jobs fromCaucasians.

“We’ve done what we said we would do,” said Mayor Wayne Wright aboutthe project, the first attempt in Canada by a municipal government toresearch its role in discrimination against the Chinese.

“The discrimination seems truly incomprehensible to so many of usnow. But while we can admit we didn’t embrace you then, we can say weembrace you now.”
The sentiment was echoed by councillors.

“I am so proud of our little city for taking this on,” said Coun.Jaimie McEvoy. “It shows we are willing to face our wrongs from thepast and I hope we’ll set an example for other parts of the country.”

“It’s not a part of our history we can be proud of,” added Coun. Jonathan Cote, “but it is still part of our history.”

While the racism was decried by all present, Coun. Betty McIntoshpointed out the Chinese were not the only group discriminated againstin the past.

“Anyone who wasn’t a white male was discriminated against,” saidMcIntosh. “It was also women, East Indians, First Nations, theJapanese, the Hawaiians— even the Irish and light-skinned Italians,pretty much everybody. My concern is that our next steps will have toinclude more than just the Chinese.”

The need for reconciliation for some members of the local Chinesecommunity initially came to the city’s attention last year because ofplans to build a new school on a former Chinese cemetery on the currentNew Westminster Secondary School site.
City social planner John Stark, who oversaw the research project,said the next step will be to engage in a dialogue with the Chinesecommunity. The findings will be presented at a public meeting March 31,and then the next step is to “explore possible redemptive actions, “said Stark. “I see that taking three to four months.”

http://www.bclocalnews.com/greater_vancouver/newwestminsternewsleader/news/89025902.html

related material:

CNW_DOCS-#130744-v1-Chinese_Reconciliation_Feedback_Form.pages

Historic discrimination chronicled in report
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Recent Canadian precedent on a community Apology:
“On behalf of the Halifax Regional Municipality, I apologize to theformer Africville residents and their descendants for what they haveendured for almost 50 years, ever since the loss of their communitythat had stood on the shores of Bedford Basin for more than 150 years.

You lost your houses, your church, all of the places where yougathered with family and friends to mark the milestones of your lives.

For all that, we apologize.

We apologize to the community elders, including those who did notlive to see this day, for the pain and loss of dignity you experienced.

We apologize to the generations who followed, for the deep woundsyou have inherited and the way your lives were disrupted by thedisappearance of your community.

We apologize for the heartache experienced at the loss of theSeaview United Baptist Church, the spiritual heart of the community,removed in the middle of the night. We acknowledge the tremendousimportance the church had, both for the congregation and the communityas a whole.

We realize words cannot undo what has been done, but we areprofoundly sorry and apologize to all the former residents and theirdescendants.

The repercussions of what happened in Africville linger to this day.They haunt us in the form of lost opportunities for young people whowere never nurtured in the rich traditions, culture and heritage ofAfricville.

They play out in lingering feelings of hurt and distrust, emotionsthat this municipality continues to work hard with the African NovaScotian community to overcome.
For all the distressing consequences, we apologize.

Our history cannot be rewritten but, thankfully, the future is ablank page and, starting today, we hold the pen with which we can writea shared tomorrow.

It is in that spirit of respect and reconciliation that we ask your forgiveness.”

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