Letter: Exclusion not part of the plan

Dear Editor,

Re: “Tories snub English media outlets,” News, Aug. 26.

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It’s apparent that the Conservative Party, the Minister of Multiculturalism Jason Kenny, Richmond Centre MP Alice Wong, and Steveston-Richmond East candidate Kenny Chiu remain unconcerned about Asian-media-only meetings organized by government members and their supporters.

They might have the effect of exacerbating and reinforcing, rather than diminishing  or eliminating, whatever feelings of separation, lack of understanding and trust, and even divisiveness that might exist between Canadian-Chinese and non-Chinese citizens of Richmond.

In the first place, it seems that politicians, such as Kenny, Wong and Chiu, conveniently forget that those voted into public office have a responsibility to represent, communicate with, and include every citizen in public forums, meetings, and information sessions, irrespective of their race, culture, or religious and political orientations.

One would think Wong would have been concerned enough about the backlash resulting from her ill-advised, Asian-press-only shark-fin soup escapade a few years ago that she would have recognized her actions and follow-up comments might have had a negative impact on inter-cultural relationships.

But apparently, such issues, concerns, and responsibilities seem to be irrelevant to her, and to the others who support her tenure as a Richmond MP.

A person might be excused for starting to wonder if there are people in Richmond who are not only content with maintaining distance, lack of understanding, and limited communication between different groups in our community, but see nothing wrong with the promotion and emphasis of race and ethnicity as being essential to the process of securing the power of governance. If this is so, it is certainly not what the architects of Canada’s official multiculturalism policies envisioned for our country.

If you access the website and read the principles outlined in those policies, you might then feel justified in wondering if Wong, Chiu and others not only comprehend their spirit and meaning, but also promote them as officials of our government.

Perhaps you can ask them if you ever get invited to attend one of their meetings.

Ray Arnold


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