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Letters: Senator disputes exclusion comparison

B.C. senator Yuen Pau Woo clarifies his comment linking the foreign influence registry to Chinese exclusion.
Yuen Pau Woo serves as an independent senator for B.C. in the Senate of Canada.

Dear Editor,

Re: “Foreign registry challenged,” News, April 27.

I have not “compared the investigation into China interference in Canada to the Chinese Exclusion Act a hundred years ago.”

I have, however, cautioned against the registry as a modern form of Chinese exclusion and offered some ideas for the government to minimize the harms of such, as I outlined in a recent letter to Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino.

On the question of whether it is appropriate to refer to racism in reflecting on the Chinese Exclusion Act of 100 years ago, I am baffled that advocates of human rights would discount any possibility of racism in a piece of proposed legislation that explicitly focuses on “foreign influence.” 

By rejecting this possibility because it is also an argument used by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is the definition of “cutting off your nose to spite your face.” 

Why give credit to the CCP for raising concerns about racism when we should be raising those concerns ourselves?

Yuen Pau Woo


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