B.C.: In 50% Chinese Richmond, cultural tensions can’t be ignored anymore

Chinese-only bus shelter ads in Richmond being phased out

‘Visually it should be equally English and Chinese … if not predominantly English’

CBC News Posted: Feb 11, 2016 2:02 PM PT Last Updated: Feb 11, 2016 2:02 PM PT

This Chinese language sign for Crest on bus shelters in Richmond was the subject of complaints.

This Chinese language sign for Crest on bus shelters in Richmond was the subject of complaints. (CBC)

Chinese-only bus shelter advertising in Richmond is about to be phased out thanks to tweaks the city has made to a contract with a yet-to-be named advertising vendor.

Richmond spokesman Ted Townsend told CBC News that a just-signed contract stipulates that bus shelter signs be predominantly English.

“We’ve had the ongoing issue in Richmond about signs on businesses being in Chinese only or predominantly in Chinese, and there’s great concerns and complaints in the community.” said Townsend.

Richmond Health Food store

Richmond has been trying to educate businesses about the council’s preference for 50 per cent English on signs.

“We’ve always made it clear that it’s our desire that signs should be at least 50 per cent English. In this case because the signs and bus shelters are on city land we can take a proactive approach and actually put in the requirement,” he said.

According to Townsend the English requirement was added to Richmond’s bus shelter advertising request-for-proposal after a contract with Pattison Outdoor Advertising expired last year.

Richmond has been grappling an the on-going issue of Chinese-only signs, exposing the cultural tension in a city where almost half the population identifies as ethnically Chinese.

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‘Not all diversity produces harmony’

Tensions linger for Hong Kong immigrants 2 decades after mass immigration

Debates over housing and signage continue to dog diversity harmony

By Elaine Chau, CBC News Posted: Jan 01, 2016 10:00 AM PT Last Updated: Jan 01, 2016 3:54 PM PT

Associate Producer for CBC Radio in Vancouver

Close

Wui Gwai: Hong Kong Homecoming 53:59

I can’t remember exactly when my parents told me we were immigrating from Hong Kong to Canada in 1992. All I remember, as a six-year-old, was my mom selling me on the idea by telling me about the swing set I would have at our new house. I didn’t appreciate what my parents were giving up; their jobs, family and friends, and the sense of security that came with all of that.

Only later did I understand why they, and thousands of others, did it — because they were scared of the unknowns around the handover of their home country in 1997, from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China.

In the late 1980s and early 90s, the special administrative region of Hong Kong was the largest source of overseas immigrants to B.C. At the peak in 1994, 48,000 people moved to Canada, with 16,000 choosing to settle in B.C.

Hijacking Our History: Henry S. Yu And The Attack On Anglo-Canadian Identity

Hijacking Our History: Henry S. Yu And The Attack On Anglo-Canadian Identity

by Brad Salzberg, Dec 2015 

http://capforcanada.com/

Dr. Yu, professor of history at University of British Columbia, believes Kitsilano is “too white.”

Kitsilano, a middle class neighbourhood in Vancouver B.C., Canada, has a problem. Not a problem for its community leaders or residents, but rather for a local university professor by the name of Henry S. Yu.

RICHMOND, B.C.: Condo-owners insist all meetings be conducted only in Mandarin

Mandarin-only condo meetings provoke human rights complaint in Richmond

Capture_2-richmondbcdemogrA group of Richmond condo owners has filed a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal after allegedly being discriminated against by a new Chinese-speaking strata council.

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A group of English-speaking condo owners in Richmond say they’ve been squeezed out by other owners who insist all meetings be conducted only in Mandarin.

The dispute is being taken to the B.C. Human Rights Council, with the English owners saying they’re victims of race-based voting manipulation.

 

Here’s an excerpt from a Richmond News story by Graeme Wood:

A group of Richmond homeowners has filed a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal after allegedly being discriminated against by a new Chinese-speaking strata council.

Andreas Kargut, who filed the claim on behalf of several other Wellington Court strata members, told the Richmond News a group of Mandarin-speaking homeowners purposefully voted to expel non-Mandarin speaking members from council.

Since then, the new council has moved to conduct all official business, including council meetings, in Mandarin.

“Anyone they deemed who was non-Mandarin speaking, they ousted,” said Kargut.

After years of catering to superstitious Chinese, Vancouver will stop skipping “unlucky” floor numbers

City goes back to ‘basic math’ in numbering buildings … for safety’s sake

BY JEFF LEE, VANCOUVER SUN NOVEMBER 4, 2015
No more skipping 4, 13, 14, 24 in Vancouver floor numbers
 The elevator panel at 1033 Marinaside in Yaletown skips No. 4, No. 13, No. 14, No. 24 and No. 34 floor buttons.

Photograph by: Gerry Kahrmann , Vancouver Sun

Vancouver has long accommodated the superstitious by allowing certain floor numbers, suite numbers and addresses to be hidden or not used at all.

Across the city, many buildings with more than 12 floors are missing the number 13, jumping right to 14. It stems from a time when people also believed it was bad luck to step on a crack or walk under a ladder.

More recently, Vancouver has increasingly found itself approving developments with many more missing floors, including 14. From the 4th to the 54th, any floor containing a 4 has vanished in an effort to cater to superstitious Chinese.

Condo towers marketed to Asian buyers often don’t even have suite numbers containing 4. Developers and real estate agents know it’s harder to sell suites on floors containing a 4 because the spoken word for the number sounds strikingly similar to the spoken word for “death” in Mandarin and Cantonese.

It can make for some odd situations, such as the 53-floor Burrard Place condo tower under construction at Hornby and Drake Streets being marketed as having a 60th floor. That’s because the developer not only knocked out all the floors with a 4, but took out 13 for good measure.

Now the city, increasingly worried about the potential for confusion among first responders, and the consequences of emergency providers misjudging floors, has called a halt.

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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