Chinese-sign dispute: Individual rights trump community concerns, says BCCLA

Chinese-sign dispute: Individual rights trump community concerns, says BCCLA

July 26, 2015. 6:00 pm • Section: The Search

Richmond City Council maintains it cannot mandate English in Chinese-language signs because it would face a court challenge, particularly from the B.C. Civil Liberties Association. Councillor Chuck Au is one of those who wants to see at least 50 per cent English on all signs.
Richmond City Council maintains it cannot mandate English in Chinese-language signs because it would face a court challenge, particularly from the B.C. Civil Liberties Association. Councillor Chuck Au is one of those who wants to see at least 50 per cent English on all signs.

Chinese-language signs have been a fiery issue in Richmond.

Residents have launched petitions insisting all signs contain at least some of Canada’s official languages, English or French, even if almost half the city’s population is ethnic Chinese.

Prominent Chinese leaders have also called on Richmond businesses to include English in all signs, as well for immigrants to show respect for their adopted country by following its customs.

Richmond City Council, however, maintains it cannot mandate English in Chinese-language signs because it would face a court challenge, particularly from the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.

In May, Richmond council attempted to sidestep a BCCLA challenge by approving a motion to begin restricting signage “clutter.” Councillors say this would deal with the controversy because most of the city’s Chinese-only signs are temporary, posted in windows or electronic.

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Yuen Pau Woo: Within 10 years, Vancouver will be a majority “Asian” city

Yuen Pau Woo.

Yuen Pau Woo on Canada’s connection to Asia: ‘We have to figure out our energy relationship’

MONICA POHLMANN

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published 

Last updated 

In a six-week series of interviews, Canadians with a variety of experiences discuss the major challenges our country is facing and how best to address them. This instalment deals with taking our place in the world.

Yuen Pau Woo, former president and chief executive officer of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, was interviewed Sept. 4 by Monica Pohlmann, a consultant with Reos Partners.

POSSIBLE CANADAS ON TAKING OUR PLACE IN THE WORLD

Pohlmann: What keeps you up at night about what’s going on in Canada?

Woo: Complacency. Canada has been blessed with numerous natural endowments and political and institutional assets. But we are slipping on many indices and our position in the world could deteriorate sharply. The usual story for why Canada didn’t fall into a more severe recession in 2008 is that we have strong banks and a good financial regulatory system – for example, that we didn’t have a subprime mortgage problem like the U.S. That’s all true. But we overlook the fact that China saved Canada from a more severe recession. If you look at what kept growth from falling even further between 2008 and 2011, the answer is Chinese demand. Exports from Canada to China doubled between 2008 and 2013. Exports from Canada to the rest of the world, including to the U.S., still have not caught up to the levels they were in 2007.

MONTREAL: Immigrants from France invading the city

Montreal’s French invasion: Why immigrants from France are moving in en masse

BENJAMIN SHINGLER

MONTREAL — The Canadian Press

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When Christian Faure moved to Montreal last summer, the renowned chef saw a chance to start fresh in a new city, freed from the constraints of his native France.

Faure opened a pastry shop and cooking school in a renovated 300-year-old greystone on a busy street in Old Montreal.

“It would be totally impossible to open a similar patisserie in a historic quarter in Paris and Lyon,” said Faure, who had a stint as director of the Cordon Bleu chef school in Ottawa before moving to the city. “In Montreal, it’s still possible. It’s a city of arts and theatre, and it encourages young people.”

Faure isn’t alone. Faced with a slumping economy and high unemployment rate back home, the number of French citizens in Montreal has soared in recent years, particularly among the 25-40 age demographic.

These days, the unmistakable accent of the Old Country echoes through the bars and cafés of the city’s trendy Plateau district. Specialty stores offering made-in-France delicacies and pubs that televise French rugby and soccer matches have also recently popped up.

By 2013, nearly 55,000 French citizens were registered at the French consulate in Montreal, up by about 45 per cent from 2005, according to the consulate.

In reality, that number is likely much higher.

A consulate spokesman estimates only about half of the French in Canada register, putting the estimated number of French citizens in Montreal at about 110,000. Toronto and Quebec City are the next most popular destinations, each home to about 10,000 registered French citizens.

The growing French presence in Montreal has even stirred up hints of resentment.

A satirical song called Y’a trop de Français sur le Plateau, which takes jabs at the perceived snobbiness of the French and their love of cigarettes, has been viewed 143,000 times on YouTube. The tune was written by Fred Fresh, a musician who himself hails from France.

Still, many view Montreal as a place of opportunity.

Laure Juilliard moved from Paris seven years ago. Only 22 at the time, she completed a one-year technical program, found a job three weeks later and has lived here ever since.

“There was a sense of freedom – from family, and from France, which is much more traditional and hierarchical,” said Juilliard, now a freelance writer who runs the popular lifestyle blog Une Parisienne à Montréal.

“I felt you could be much more yourself here than in France, and not feel the judgment of others, and even if there is judgment, it’s not necessarily negative.”

It’s unclear how many of these new arrivals will stay for the long haul.

Over the past decade, 30,000 immigrants from France have gained permanent resident status in Quebec, according to the consulate, far below the total number here on temporary student and work-travel visas. But it’s still among the top immigrant countries of origin in Quebec, alongside Algeria, Morocco, China and Haiti.

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SFU student claims European Canada is a fiction

LABOVE: Holding tight to fiction of a European CanadaJOSH LABOVE / NORTH SHORE NEWS  JULY 20, 2014 12:00 AM

Xenophobe Brad Saltzberg has been on a bit of a media tear lately, as spokesperson for what can only be called a hate group for modern times, Putting Canada First.

Saltzberg and his cronies are largely dismissed by city councils and mainstream news media, but I would argue we need to take this group seriously as dangerously divisive and hateful. We should find their invocation of “Canada” and “European Canada” to be disturbing and hateful for the fictions such terms attempt to make of our multicultural, settler society.

Putting Canada First has powerfully worked to align the narrative of our hard-earned tax dollars to that of the greedy migrant. Saltzberg’s interviews attempt a dispassionate view of multiculturalism veiled as a waste of taxpayer resources, telling a Shaw

Putting Canada First expresses concern on the future of English in Vancouver

Vancouver Anti-Chinese-Language Movement Focused On Chinese Language Signs, Advertisements

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gordweisflock/12278106995/in/set-72157640438912695
Vancouver, Canada Reuters

Canada’s West Coast hub, Vancouver, is home to a Chinese immigrant population so large that the city has earned the nickname “Hongcouver” and the title of“most Asian city” outside of Asia. The city’s Chinese have enriched the culture and created employment opportunities, but recently the growing number of Chinese-language signs and advertisements has sparked protests from some non-Chinese residents.

Brad Saltzberg, a North Vancouver resident, told the Vancouver Sun he takes issue with targeted Chinese advertising for real estate agents, financial planning and other products because it undermines “traditional English and French Canadian identity.”

Saltzberg is also the spokesperson and regional director for Putting Canada First, a nonprofit “dedicated to the maintenance and advancement of traditional Canadian identity, history and language.” It appears that Saltzberg isn’t the only one who has a problem with the increasing use of Chinese in public. Last week, stickers that said “Please Respect Canada’s Official Languages” covered Chinese-language advertisements in West Vancouver’s bus stations.  

Metro Vancouver: Almost 4 in 10 of SUCCESS’s clients are from Mainland China

Mainland Chinese now benefit most from S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
June 3, 2013. 8:41 pm • Section: Immigration, The Search

Almost four in 10 of SUCCESS’s clients are from Mainland China. Newcomers from the People’s Republic of China have become the largest cohort by far of immigrants to Metro Vancouver, taking the place those from Hong Kong, who were the dominant group in the early 1990s.