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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NANAIMO, B.C.: Chinese-only ads spray painted, racism allegations follow

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Published Monday, June 15, 2015 5:00PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, June 15, 2015 6:23PM PDT

Nanaimo’s Chinese community says it is under attack once again after eight bus stop benches featuring Chinese real estate agents were vandalized with racist messages.

The benches were spray-painted over the weekend with hateful phrases like “Go away” and racist terms used toward Chinese people.

One bench was tagged with the message “Not Welcom [sic]” and had a swastika painted over a photograph of the realtor.

University backs professor Ricardo Duchesne who says Asian immigration damages Vancouver

University backs professor who says Asian immigration damages Vancouver

IAN BAILEY, VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail

Published Last updated 

The University of New Brunswick, citing academic freedom, is supporting a professor who claims that Asian immigration has damaged Vancouver.

In a statement issued Wednesday on sociology professor Ricardo Duchesne, a university vice-president said the school’s mission and values support freedom of thought and expression while maintaining the highest ethical standards and a respectful environment.

Robert MacKinnon also said a complaint about the issue by Vancouver city Councillor Kerry Jang has been “carefully reviewed and addressed.” However, the statement provides no detail on that process or outcome.

The university declined to provide more detail Wednesday or an interview with a university official.

Mr. Jang scoffed at the response, calling it “vague,” and said he has never heard from the University of New Brunswick about the issue, which first flared up last summer when he became aware of Prof. Duchesne’s views.

“I don’t know if they actually did anything and this is just a way of defending a faculty member, circle the wagons,” said Mr. Jang, who is also a professor of psychiatry at the University of British Columbia.

He said Prof. Duchesne is using academic freedom to hide poor scholarship. “He’s only providing one view to students and shaping their minds,” he said. “That whole academic enterprise of why we send our kids to school to become broad thinkers is not being upheld.”

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.

China and Canada in advanced talks to set up first North American renminbi trading hub

China, Canada in Talks to Set Up First North American Renminbi Trading Hub

Could Announce Tentative Deal on Renminbi Hub as Soon as Saturday, Sources Say

By

China and Canada are in advanced talks to set up the first North American renminbi trading hub and could announce a tentative deal as soon as Saturday while Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in China, according to people familiar with the matter.

Some hurdles remain before a final deal is struck, these people said, including determining which Canadian banks would participate. A renminbi hub, which must have the backing of the Chinese government, allows for the clearance and settling of transactions in the Chinese currency.

Canadian banks have been among those pushing for such a hub, which would lower financial costs for Canadian firms doing business with China, likely boost trade ties between the two countries, bolster Canadian banks’ foreign-exchange operations and allow Canadian institutional investors to add more renminbi-based assets.

China is Canada’s second-largest single-country trading partner, with two-way merchandise trade between the two countries reaching roughly 73 billion Canadian dollars ($63.89 billion), second only to trade between Canada and the U.S.

As of Friday, no formal deal had been reached, according to the people familiar with the matter, adding there was no guarantee that Mr. Harper would leave China with a commitment for a Canada-based hub. The announcement could involve a memorandum of understanding between the two countries to eventually reach a firm deal on establishing a hub, they said.

RICHMOND, B.C.: Mayoral contender Lifeng Wei wants to implement Chinese-style city policies

ELECTION 2014: Civic pay, Chinese signs focus of Richmond mayoral debate

Richmond mayoral candidates Malcolm Brodie, Richard Lee and Cliff Lifeng Wei.  - Matthew Hoekstra

Richmond mayoral candidates Malcolm Brodie, Richard Lee andCliff Lifeng Wei.

— Image Credit: Matthew Hoekstra

In the wake of a report documenting a rapid rise in municipal compensation, Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie defended city workers’ salaries in a Thursday mayoral debate.

Brodie, campaigning for a seventh term in the Nov. 15 vote, said unionized workers’ pay is governed by negotiated agreements. As for management—who are paid too much according to an Ernst and Young report made public last month—Brodie said “it’s all relative.”

“If we don’t pay our management enough, then they go somewhere else,” he said in front of a Minoru Place Activity Centre crowd of approximately 250 people. “That’s a huge cost, when you lose a longtime employee and that person goes elsewhere. So you have to pay market rate to your employees, and it’s also a matter of fairness.”

To probe municipal pay, the province hired consultants Ernst and Young, whose report criticized cities for allowing pay levels to climb by 38 per cent—twice the rate of the provincial public service—from 2001-12. The report also suggested municipal managers are paid too much and recommended the province take strong action to curb the trend.

Richard Lee, who is making a second run at the mayor’s job and running with Richmond Reform, said staff are entitled to their current deals, but suggested there’s room for wage scrutiny.

“I believe in the free market, we could have and in the future we will under my leadership, to hire somebody at a reasonable rate, not at the alarming rate that was shared with us in that study…”

Richmond City Hall’s payroll has grown by $15 million in five years. The city’s top earner is chief administrative officer George Duncan, who made $291,250 last year. Department heads also score high on the pay scale, as five of six general managers topped the $200,000 mark in 2013.

Thursday’s short debate, organized by the Richmond Centre for Disability, served as a prelude to a much larger forum featuring 28 candidates running for councillor.

Mayoral candidates also waded into the contentious waters of Chinese-only signs. Lee said they’re “not a good thing.” Some will argue for freedom of expression, he said, but added “all rights are conditional.”