Letter: Mayoral candidate Hong Guo said urging voting doesn’t mean race baiting

Dear Editor,

Re: “No place for race baiting,” Opinion,  June 9.

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I am writing in response to your paper’s implication that, by encouraging Chinese residents to get out and vote, I am somehow “race baiting”. 

In 2000, as a newly graduated University student in Saskatchewan, I ran for city council in Regina because I wanted to become involved in public life in the country that had become my new home. Whether I was running in Regina or Richmond, it has been my consistent position that all Canadians should cherish their democratic rights by exercising their rights and responsibilities as citizens to vote. 

As a Canadian of Chinese heritage, it is true that I have been frustrated by the relatively low voter turnout in the Chinese community at all levels of government.  But this does not mean that I am not equally frustrated by the overall low voter turnout in past municipal elections as a whole.

In my perfect world, I would like to see Canadians from all of our rich and diverse communities participating in the democratic process.  If encouraging Chinese-Canadians to vote qualifies as race baiting, then your paper will have a lot of stories to do as I encourage Richmond citizens from all of our diverse communities to exercise their democratic right.

I really hope that the Richmond News can refrain from such labeling in the future and join me, and indeed all candidates in the upcoming election, in encouraging our citizens to vote.

Hong Guo


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