Chinese Canadian Social Justice Groups Welcome Proposal to Acknowledge Anti-Asian Racism in Ontario

The Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice (CCNC-SJ), the Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic (CSALC) and the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter (CCNCTO) welcome the Private Member’s Bill introduced on May 11, 2021 by MPP Michael Coteau to acknowledge anti-Asian racism in Ontario’s Anti-Racism Act.


If passed, the legislative acknowledgement of anti-Asian racism would be the first of its kind in Canada.


“Canada has a long history of anti-Asian racism. The often missing official recognition that anti-Asian racism exists in Canada has served to fuel the rise of racism and hate towards Asian Canadians since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Amy Go, President of CCNC-SJ. “The inclusion of anti-Asian racism in the province’s Anti-Racism Act is an important first step towards addressing this critical issue facing all Asian Canadians in Ontario,” added Amy Go.


Each racialized community is dehumanized by racism in different ways. For many parts of the large and diverse Asian Canadian communities, anti-Asian racism shows itself through stereotypes such as the “perpetual foreigner”, the “model minority” and the exoticization or fear of the “Yellow Peril”. It is important to recognize that each community is not monolithic, and that the impact of racism cuts deeper for marginalized communities, and for those who live through the intersection of other forms of discrimination, such as gender, disability, sexual orientation, etc.


“Governments’ inaction often perpetuates the common “model minority” stereotype about all Chinese Canadians being wealthy and successful. In fact, members of our community are twice as likely to live in poverty as compared to those who are white, and are over-represented in low-waged frontline jobs that are deemed essential during the pandemic,” said Avvy Go, Clinic Director of CSALC. “We need all parties to take seriously the issue of systemic racism against Asian Canadians, and develop concrete actions to address anti-Asian racism in all its forms,” said Go.


“CCNCTO collected over 1,150 incidents of hate and racism targeting Asian Canadians and others during the pandemic; 40% of those incidents took place in Ontario. We need to prevent these racist attacks from happening through public education and other proactive measures, instead of reacting to hate and racism after the fact through a law and order lens,” said Kennes Lin, Co-Chair of CCNCTO.


CCNC-SJ, CSALC, and CCNCTO call on the Ontario Government to adopt Coteau’s Private Member’s Bill and consult broadly with the Asian Canadian communities on how to address systemic racism in all public and private institutions, including in many major areas such as education, employment, education, health care, services, criminal justice system, etc.


Media contact:

Amy Go (CCNC-SJ) at national@ccnc.ca

Avvy Go (CSALC) at 416-971-9674 and goa@lao.on.ca

Rain Chan (CCNCTO) at executivedirector@ccnctoronto.ca

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