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More anti-Chinese flyers delivered in Richmond

Organizer of silent protest hears of residents feeling 'unsafe' in their neighbourhood

Another flyer attacking Chinese immigrants is doing the rounds in Richmond and it’s making some residents feel unsafe, according to an anti-racism protestor.

The new flyer — depicting a Caucasian family looking on in envy at a supposedly, Chinese-owned monster home and apparently distributed by Immigration Watch Canada (IWC) — was the talk of a live phone-in radio show on Monday on Chinese-language radio station AM1320.

Edward Liu, who organized a silent protest outside the Brighouse Canada Line station on Sunday against another anti-Chinese flyer distributed two weeks ago in Richmond, was a guest of the station during its phone-in.

During the show, Liu, a Richmond resident and long-time immigrant from Hong Kong, said many locals calling into the station expressed fears for their safety.

“Many people that were phoning in talked about feeling unsafe for themselves and their families because of the flyers in Richmond,” said Liu, who organized Sunday’s protest because he and a few friends felt they “had to do something, as we didn’t feel comfortable about the message in the (original) flyer. We wanted to show people that we are all Canadian and that we love Canada.”

Liu said he urged the callers to the show not to “over-react” and that the flyers “don’t represent Richmond.”

“I told them that Richmond is still a safe community to live in.”

The latest flyer claims that tens of thousands of wealthy Chinese families are driving up housing costs, using healthcare and education resources in the country, paying little or no tax into the system and that their children are getting preferential hiring treatment.

No one from IWC returned calls or emails from the Richmond News before deadline.

MLA Linda Reid (second from right) joined in a silent protest outside of Brighouse Station on Sunday. Richmond resident Edward Liu organized the event in response to a flyer sent out last week blaming ‘the Chinese” for housing prices and ruptured neighbourhoods. Since then, a second anti-Chinese flyer is reported to be circulating. - Nick Procaylo/PNG

Of the suggestion that not enough new Asian immigrants are making an effort to integrate into Canadian society, Liu said such a depiction was “unfair.”

“During the process of integrating, it might not be as smooth as some people want; we have different ways of doing things and seeing things and there are difficulties with integration,” he said.

“Some may not have the language skills and it takes time for them to pick it up; learning a new language is not easy. About 90 per cent of the new immigrants that I know have made efforts to learn some English before coming to Canada.”

A handful of non-Asians were among the 40-strong crowd at Sunday’s silent protest, including Richmond-East MLA Linda Reid and her family. Everyone held placards reading “We Are One Community” and waved Canadian flags.

Meanwhile, Dr. Charles Quist-Adade, professor of sociology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, said it was “quite concerning and frightening” to see the flyers currently being distributed in Richmond.

“I was worried, but then quite inspired by the reaction (to the flyers) by people in Richmond, especially the white people,” said Quist-Adade, who specializes in mass media, race and ethnicity and who emmigrated from Ghana in 1992.

“Canada has enough space and resources for everybody, for all immigrants, no matter where they’re from.”

When asked about the suggestion that new immigrants in Richmond don’t integrate as much as they could, Quist-Adade did not pull any punches.

“That’s what racists would say,” he said.

“But immigrants in Richmond are integrating and contributing. This is just an excuse to cover up racism.

“It’s saying that they should behave like white Canadians.”

Integration, explained Quist-Adade, is when “everybody is contributing; assimilation is when we are all subsumed by a certain culture, in this case, it’s the dominant Euro-Canadian culture. And when immigrants do try to integrate, they are accused of not being Canadian enough.”