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B.C. Government to Apologize to Chinese Community for Historic Wrongs

Andrew Weaver commends the Government of British Columbia for announcing today that it will launch a consultation process to discuss the wording of a formal government apology to B.C.’s Chinese community for historical wrongs.

In making this announcement, the government has acknowledged that for more than 60 years, from 1885 to 1947 the Chinese community in B.C. suffered legislated inequality and discrimination, most notably under the Chinese Immigration Act and Chinese Exclusion Act.

Over the coming months, Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism will travel to communities throughout the province to consult with Chinese community associations and citizens to identify appropriate wording for a formal apology.

Andrew Weaver applauds the B.C. government for taking the necessary steps to recognize and apologize for these past wrong-doings and looks forward to supporting Minister Wat as she meets with Chinese cultural groups in Oak Bay and Gordon Head.

The Chinese community has been an integral part of Oak Bay and Gordon Head for over 100 years and has contributed significantly to the development of our community’s rich and vibrant cultural history. The Chinese Cemetery is one of many examples of this. In 1903 the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association purchased 3.5 acres of land at Harling Point in Oak Bay and established the Chinese Cemetery. Today the cemetery hosts the remains of hundreds of Chinese-Canadian pioneers and in 1994 was declared a National Historic Site by the Government of Canada.

If you would like to contribute your recommendations regarding the wording of the formal apology, please call my office at 250-472-8528 or send me an email.

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