Fifteen years ago when Minghui Yu made the decision to leave China, Canada was not where he thought he wanted to go.
Back then, the U.S. was the place to be, according to Yu.
Many people had dreams of immigrating to the States to enjoy a better education and life for themselves as well as their families, Yu added.
“Moving to Canada was still a new idea at that time. But my professors told me Canada is also an ideal place to pursue my studies and people are super friendly, so I gave it a try. I was like a pioneer compared with other people of my generation.
“But it was the right decision that I will never regret,” said Yu, who came here to pursue his bachelor and master’s degrees, and later met his other half.
He lived for the first five years in Vancouver then 10 years ago moved to Richmond — a city with which he quickly fell in love.
“I can feel the spirit of respect and kindness everywhere in Richmond; for example, the local community centres, libraries and public transportation all provide seniors and vulnerable people with easy access to elevators and wheelchair ramps.
“My dad wasn’t in good health during that time and he needed to rely on wheelchairs to travel around. So these designs helped him a lot,” said Yu.
Yu recalled a time when he was studying at a well-reputed university back in China, and there was a debate about installing wheelchair ramps throughout the campus.
The school rejected the idea, much to Yu’s frustration.
“If a person who travels by wheelchair constantly needs help from others, the person won’t feel comfortable.
“But these designs in Canada tell me no matter how rich or poor we are, everyone who lives here deserves dignity and respect,” said Yu, adding that sometimes details speak volumes.
Now, Yu enjoys spending time with his family enjoying nature.
For this upcoming Canada Day, Yu plans to go hiking.
“My wife and daughter are going to join me to immerse ourselves in nature, in the woods. We feel lucky to live here,” said Yu.