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Videos encouraging Chinese Canadians to vote go viral

Many videos, made by the Richmond Chinese-speaking community, have been circulated online to encourage new Canadians to get out to vote.

It doesn’t feature a well-known influencer, or even eye-catching visuals, yet a video encouraging Richmond’s Chinese Canadians to vote has been shared on WeChat 13,000 times – and counting. 

"Hello everyone, my name is Ally Wong. It's my first time recording a video. I've bought a selfie stick online for making high-quality videos. Unfortunately, it still hasn't arrived yet. However, I don't want to wait anymore since I feel an urgent need to speak up at this time," Richmondite Wong explains in her first-ever video post. 

In it, Wong addresses the issue of anti-Asian hate, but also chides the local Chinese community for not stepping up and getting more involved in Canadian culture.

“I've heard many immigrants saying they feel isolated from mainstream society. I hate to say it, but the truth is they are separating themselves from this society by not speaking up," said Wang.

"The voter turnout for Chinese Canadians has been one of the most dismal. I have noticed the issue since 2018, and now it's time to change. If you don't speak up, no one will stand up for you," Wang continued in the video. 

Reports of anti-Asian hate crimes to the Vancouver Police Department are up 717 per cent over the last year.

"As a mother of a 16-year-old son, I hope to see our next generation of Chinese Canadian kids happy and living their lives to the fullest, free of discrimination.”

But that will only happen if Chinese Canadians are part of creating that environment.

Wang isn't the only Richmond resident posting videos on WeChat to encourage the Chinese community to vote.

"All immigrants need to keep in mind that we aren't guests or visitors to Canada. We are citizens," said James Wu in his video. 

Prior to the end of World War II, Chinese Canadians weren’t allowed to vote because of their Chinese heritage. It was only after many brave Chinese Canadians fought for Canada during the war were they granted the franchise in 1947, explained Wu, adding this story always brings him to tears. 

"74 years ago, our predecessors fought in a war in hopes of getting us the right to vote.  Then, 74 years later, many people don’t even care about voting rights. It's time to wake up and fulfill our responsibility as a citizen," said Wu.