Richmond's Chinese-Canadians believe racism should be part of election debate

While healthcare and the economy are key election issues, many Chinese-speaking Richmondites would also like to hear candidates talk more about racism.

"Canada has always been a country that welcomes immigrants, no matter where they come. So the recent increase in racist attacks linked to COVID-19 has been a shock for us," said Richmondite Tung Chan, former CEO of Success.

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"Would-be political leaders should speak out and encourage everyone to unite together against racism."

Another Richmondite, James Wu, who runs a hiking group with over 100 new immigrants, also brought up the same concern as Chan did. 

"Many members from my hiking group told me they felt scared to go out during the pandemic, not only due to the virus but also the fear of being insulted by racial slurs," said Wu, adding that the new provincial government should do more rather than "simply criticizing it."

"They can consider holding free workshops to facilitate better conversations and understandings," added Wu. 

james wu
James Wu hopes election candidates could consider holding free workshops to facilitate better conversations and understandings.  - Photo submitted

In addition, Chan calls for political leaders to focus on creating more diversity on boards. 

"Whoever wins the election should aim to build an inclusive and equitable environment that values different perspectives, which can benefit the whole society in return."

Restarting the economy after the COVID-19 is also top-of-mind for many from the Chinese-Canadian community. 

Andy Pang, who runs a business in Richmond, said he believes it’s important the government strike the right balance between health and the economy. 

"I agree that we need to restart the economy in the safest way. But I also hope the government can provide continuing support to fuel most small businesses' recovery, especially for the travel and tourism industry that has been through a tough time," added Pang.


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