The Legacy of Malcolm Brodie, Mayor of Canada’s First Asian City

 

South Vancouver, B.C. -Canada (Photo courtesy of Brad Salsberg)

South Vancouver, B.C. -Canada (Photo courtesy of Brad Salzberg)

The Legacy of Malcolm Brodie, Mayor of Canada’s First Asian City

By Brad Salzberg, April 2015

Sir John A. McDonald. Sir Wilfred Laurier. Two of the founders of our country, often referred to as “forefathers” of our nation. In modern Canada, however, we have forefathers of a different variety.

Take Richmond B. C. Mayor Malcolm Brodie. He is a forefather of a new variety. Richmond is known as the most Asian city outside of Asia. It is a Canadian municipality in which white Canadians are a minority, and it shows. Within Richmond’s business districts, Chinese languages dominate the billboards, store fronts and public advertising. Many do not include an English equivalent. When English is included, it often appears perfunctory, with Chinese characters dominating the messaging.

It’s an unusual phenomenon, and rather controversial. Community leaders, responding to community ​dissatisfaction, recently organized a public meeting to better understand public sentiment, and to hear from both proponents and detractors.

Mayor Brodie was in attendance, but refrained from making a formal statement. At issue is the method to resolve the conflict. Some local residents promote public education as a remedy, an expensive and time-consuming endeavour. Others call for passing a by-law, which another Richmond- ​Richmond Hill, Ontario- implemented several years back. Mayor Brodie, however, feels the by-law may be a violation of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, though it is difficult to find the logic in his thinking, considering the existing Richmond Hill bylaw.

METRO VANCOUVER: Chinese immigrants likely to report low incomes

Chinese immigrants likely to report low incomes
 Waeel Ameen and Rupa Manabala, two recent immigrants to Metro Vancouver who, after some initial struggles to get into their chosen profession, have become successful. Photograph by: Rob Kruyt

A recent federal government analysis found immigrants from China, Taiwan and South Korea reported among the lowest incomes in Canada.

While this may appear to be at odds with examples of wealthy Chinese snapping up Vancouver mansions, the 2014 Citizenship and Immigration Canada report also said that immigrants from these countries were less likely to claim social assistance than average Canadians. This may be because immigrants from the East Asian countries tend to represent business-class investors who own significant unreported assets and might be “strategic” in reporting their income, said the report.

The report, which linked 2011 census data on income to country of birth, was obtained by Vancouver immigration lawyer Richard Kurland though an access to information request.

70,000 sign petition created by globe-trotters to remove immigration controls among Canada, Australia, New Zealand and U.K.

Some 70,000 sign petition to end immigration controls between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and U.K.

James Skinner has organized an online petition that seeks to remove immigration restrictions between Canada, Australia, the U.K. and New Zealand.

Ric Ernst/The Province
James Skinner has organized an online petition that seeks to remove immigration restrictions between Canada, Australia, the U.K. and New Zealand.

A group of globe-trotting friends in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Britain have banded together as a lobby group and created an online petition aimed at eliminating immigration controls between the four Commonwealth countries.

They seem to have struck a nerve. Their petition at cfmo.org — they call their group the Commonwealth Freedom of Movement Organization — has drawn more than 70,000 signatures since its launch at the beginning of March.

“The initial group was just me,” said James Skinner, a 27-year-old paralegal, originally from Britain and now based in Vancouver. “But it branched out to a lot of my friends … one member in each country that we’re campaigning for, and there’s a bunch of people behind the scenes as well, working the social media site, the email and the campaigning.”

Ontario Legal Aid toughens rules after lawyers failed Roma clients

Complaints about legal representation went unheeded for years

By Maureen Brosnahan, CBC News Posted: Apr 24, 2015 5:05 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 24, 2015 10:54 AM ET

A recent report found that of 11,000 claims for refugee status filed in Canada between 2008 and 2012, only 8.6 per cent were successful. A recent report found that of 11,000 claims for refugee status filed in Canada between 2008 and 2012, only 8.6 per cent were successful. (Adi Piclisan/Reuters)

Legal Aid Ontario is tightening its rules for lawyers who take on refugee cases following a scathing report that showed thousands of Hungarian Roma were left high and dry by lawyers who made hundreds of thousands of dollars from them.

Andrew Brouwer, senior legal counsel with Immigration and Refugee Law at Legal Aid Ontario, said starting this summer, lawyers who want to handle legal aid refugee cases will have to apply to be authorized to handle those kinds of cases, pass a competency test and meet certain standards and best practices.

Vancouver infested with Chinese money laundering operations, no one cooperates as they fear for their lives

Chinese police run secret operations in B.C. to hunt allegedly corrupt officials and laundered money

 | March 5, 2015 8:25 AM ET
More from Postmedia News

Chinese police agents have been conducting secret operations in Canada — a top destination for allegedly corrupt officials — seeking to “repatriate” suspects and money laundered in real estate.

CHINESE WEALTH FOCUSING ON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

A “staggering” amount of Chinese wealth that has poured into Vancouver homes since 2011 is increasingly flowing into commercial real estate deals, realtors say.

Colliers’ Spark Report says the global outflow of Chinese capital hit a record of $18 billion in 2014, and the amount flowing to Canada and specifically Vancouver is rising.

The report notes several “landmark deals” made by Chinese investment funds in the past year including a 232-acre Port Moody development site on which Chinese investors want to build an “urban village.”

Kirk Kuester, executive managing director of Colliers International Vancouver, said the pool of money from Mainland China seeking investments in Metro Vancouver is so vast right now that he has to turn away potential clients.

“The money is staggering, quite honestly,” Kuester said.

Metro Vancouver a hub for Chinese money laundering

Terry Glavin: Canada’s unhappy affair with China’s princeling millionaires

 | April 22, 2015 5:26 PM ETMore from Terry Glavin

 Ian Young, Vancouver correspondent for the South China Morning Post, has been almost alone in chasing down the immigrant investor scandal.

If the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual top-ten world cities rankings are what you’ve been relying on you probably weren’t surprised last month when the global human resources outfit Mercer tagged Vancouver on its Quality of Living index as the best city in North America. But you might have been surprised this week when Statistics Canada released a study showing that by a variety of indices, Vancouverites are the unhappiest people in Canada, falling dead last among 33 cities across the country on the happiness scale.

Chinese police run secret operations in B.C. to hunt allegedly corrupt officials and laundered money

Chinese police agents have been conducting secret operations in Canada — a top destination for allegedly corrupt officials — seeking to “repatriate” suspects and money laundered in real estate.

Vancouver city officials will not comment on co-operation with Chinese agents in “Operation Fox Hunt,” or on suspects pointed to by Chinese news services.

Xinhua news agency reported that while China does not have extradition treaties with Canada, the United States and Australia — the three top destinations for corruption suspects — in 2013 Canada and China signed an agreement to share assets connected to corruption.

Starting in 2014, Chinese agents came to Canada and other countries, Xinhua reported.

The Province found indications in various data sources of large wealth allegedly misappropriated in China and invested in condo and commercial developments and private residences in and around Vancouver.

Also, according to The Province’s review of data posted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, there are a number of offshore shell companies linked to addresses in Vancouver, West Vancouver and Richmond, with connections to Mainland China.

Asmaa Bana found, had just been staying with a friend

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Her family said Asmaa Bana, 20, was conscientious about calling if she were even a few minutes late, which made her disappearance on Monday frightening. Bana contacted police herself on Wednesday when she saw media reports about her disappearance.

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By:  Staff Reporter,  National Security Reporter, Published on Wed Apr 22 2015

A 20-year-old OCAD University student reported missing on Wednesday has been located after she reported to police later that day.

Asmaa Bana, a graphic design student who had not been seen since Monday, had terrified her family with her apparent disappearance. Her family said that she was so conscientious she would normally call if she expected to be even five minutes late.

Friends had reported seeing Bana downtown at around 1:30 p.m. Monday. She told her friends she was leaving for a job interview — she had been concerned about finding a summer job — and had not been seen since.

After apparently seeing multiple media reports on her case, Bana herself called police around 5 p.m. Officers met her in a restaurant in the east end, according to Staff Sgt. Brian Kay, of 23 Division.

“(Officers) obviously spoke with her, basically interviewed her to find out what was going on,” Kay said.

“She was unharmed, she had left under her own will, wasn’t taken or anything of that nature. She’s 20 years old, so they were forced to leave it as is.”

Kay said Bana had been staying in the area with a friend.

Bana’s relatives said she was fine and just needed some time.

“We just happy she’s OK and will give her the space she needs,” they said in a statement late Wednesday.

TORONTO: Peer Mohammad Khairi, who almost decapitated wife, loses appeal

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By: Diana Mehta The Canadian Press, Published on Wed Apr 22 2015

Ontario’s highest court upheld the second-degree murder conviction of an Afghan immigrant who nearly decapitated his wife, calling the woman’s death a “horrific” killing in a decision released Wednesday.

Peer Mohammad Khairi, a father of six, had argued that the judge who presided over his trial made several errors, and asked the appeal court for a new trial.

If a fresh trial couldn’t be ordered, Khairi had asked that his period of parole ineligibility — currently set at 15 years after he was sentenced to life in prison — be lowered to 10 or 11 years.

He was turned down by Ontario’s Court of Appeal on both fronts.

“The conviction appeal is dismissed. While we grant leave to appeal the sentence, the sentence appeal is dismissed,” the court’s decision said.

Khairi had admitted to killing his wife in March 2008, it was the circumstances of the death that had been in dispute at his trial, the court noted.

“He contended that he lacked the intent for murder due to mental health issues. Alternatively, he claimed that he stabbed his wife in the heat of passion, caused by her allegedly provocative words and conduct,” the appeal court wrote.

A jury deliberated for three days in 2012 before finding Khairi guilty of second-degree murder.

In his appeal, Khairi argued that the trial judge erred by not declaring a mistrial after what was allegedly an “improper” opening statement from Crown prosecutors, whose effect was allegedly to prevent him from receiving a fair trial. He also claimed the prosecution’s closing address was inflammatory.

The appeal court agreed that the Crown’s opening statement was improper, but found that the trial judge adequately instructed the jury that the Crown’s remarks exceeded the scope of a proper opening statement.

(…)

Khairi, who was born in Afghanistan, immigrated to Canada with his wife and children in 2003 after having spent the previous 15 years in India.

The family settled in Toronto but due to the couple’s limited education and inability to speak English, neither of them could find work, court documents have noted.

In 2006, the family had financial troubles and the relationship between Khairi and his wife became strained, the documents said.

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TORONTO: 9 arrested in alleged human trafficking operation

 Toronto police have arrested nine people and laid 61 charges in a multi-province investigation into an alleged human trafficking operation. There is a warrant outstanding for one further person.

From October 2014 to April 2015, the Sex Crimes Human Trafficking Enforcement Team were looking into a Toronto street gang called the Complex Crip Gangsters for what they believed to be a Canada-wide human trafficking network. Police called the investigation Project Guardian.

Police announce arrestsPolice announce the arrest of what they say are nine members of a Toronto street gang on Wednesday morning. (Shannon Martin/CBC)

Police say the accused would recruit women at dance clubs, schools and group homes and force them into sex work. They would also befriend women online, using Facebook and Instagram.

The victims involved ranged in age from 15 to 33 and were from Nova Scotia, Ontario and Alberta. The girls and women were forced to work and turn over the money they earned, and if they did not make enough money, they would be physically beaten and threatened, police say.

The police allege the women were being forced to service 10-15 clients a day.

Police say they identified four alleged victims during their investigation.

On April 2, the police raided dwellings in the area of Jane Street and Wilson Avenue, and Kipling Avenue and Rexdale Boulevard to make the arrests. They also say they found stolen property, as well as drugs such as cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin and MDMA. As well, they gathered evidence related to hotels and motels.

The charges laid include human trafficking and drug-related counts, as well as obstructing a peace officer, possession of the proceeds of crime, and trafficking in persons under 18 years.

The accused are:

  • Marcus Cumsille, 21, of Toronto.
  • Joel Edwards, 22, of Toronto.
  • Tyronne Matthews, 20, of Toronto.
  • Felix Funes Vasquez, 19, of Toronto.
  • Shane Hendry, 18, of Toronto.
  • Symisha Murray, 19, of Toronto.
  • Abdulwahab Sheikh, 18, of Toronto.
  • Keron Christie, 32, of Toronto.
  • Chanelle Espinosa, 20, of Toronto.
Police have released some of the photos of the arrestedPolice have released some of the photos of the arrested. Clockwise from top left: Marcus Cumsille, 21, Joel Edwards, 22, Levi Alexander, 19, who has not yet been arrested, and Chanelle Espinosa, 20. (Toronto police)

Levi Alexander, 19, of Toronto, has not been apprehended and is wanted on an arrest warrant.

Police believe there may be more victims.

Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators at 416-808-7474.

Information can also be passed on anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477.