WEB - Dushi.ca - Markham, 30/05/2020 - NEWS, Chinese
Image Source: Dushi.ca
Summary Translation: Like other international students, Shahbuddin faces uncertainty as universities switch to online classes. She also has financial concerns, worries about a work permit and has fears about her health. “It’s been almost two months now and I’ve been thinking about it every day and still cannot make a decision,” she said in a phone interview. Matthew Ramsey, a spokesman at the University of British Columbia, said it will primarily be offering online classes in the fall so students can participate from around the world. The university will not know enrolment numbers until September because most students who are offered and accept admission sometimes opt out for a variety of reasons, he said. Ijaz Ashraf is from Pakistan and has been accepted at Concordia University to do a master’s degree in industrial engineering. He said he will likely defer enrolment because he’s not satisfied with online classes and wants to experience campus life. David Robinson, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, said his group has been working with the Canadian Federation of Students. Both groups have suggested tuition waivers or cuts funded through the government. He said there’s an added concern for students in some countries where the course material may be censored.
WEB - Canadian Filipino Net - Vancouver, 26/05/2020 - EDITORIAL, English
Image Source: Canadian Filipino Net
Summary: Carlo Javier - Capilano Courier, Capilano University’s campus newspaper, ran a feature detailing the event and its participants, particularly the union membership, the majority of which were of Filipino heritage. Filipinos in Canada have long been intrinsically linked to the Live-In Caregiver program, and that stereotype has expanded to custodianship. A quick look at the union’s posters and campaign flyers reinforced this case. The janitors at the Capilano University are predominantly Filipinos, exactly 22 of the 29 are. It is estimated that 60 per cent of cleaners in the Lower Mainland are Filipino. As a 24-year-old Filipino immigrant, a graduate of Capilano University’s Bachelor of Communication Studies program, and the outgoing editor-in-chief of the campus’ official newspaper, the writer has seen and experienced his fair share of racialization in his 12 years in Canada. Leo Alejandria of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 2 worked for over 20 years as a cleaner in a host of Vancouver schools. These days, he works with the union and volunteers with the BC chapter of Migrante – an international advocacy group for migrant Filipinos. The numbers are shocking, but they made perfect sense to him. Many Filipinos can recall too many family members, friends, and acquaintances who have dabbled in the cleaning industry. It is an honest job and one that should really not be looked down on – but it does sting when you’re a college-educated immigrant who may have built an impressive professional career in the Philippines, only to find yourself cleaning toilets and tables at schools, offices, and malls. The feature's writer states that his story is about racialization and dehumanization. One that looked at how the caregiver stereotype has evolved into the cleaner stereotype, and just how venomous this assumption can be. Another Filipino worker, Eymard Caravana, spoke about maintaining the utmost level of professionalism in his job – no matter what his job is. If we were to take away some positives from all the racialized identities that have been built for Filipinos in Canada, the writer says, he would be happy with professionalism. Filipinos do indeed work well and hard – even if it’s a job they never thought they would end up with.
WEB - Darpan Magazine - Vancouver, 15/05/2020 - News, English
Anne Kang. Image Source: Darpan Magazine website
Summary: British Columbia's minister responsible for multiculturalism says she can no longer remain silent about the rising number of hate crimes toward people of Asian heritage during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement, Anne Kang says she is deeply saddened by the recent rise in physical and verbal attacks as well as an increase in vandalism. Kang says she is "compelled as a government representative, immigrant and British Columbian to speak out against these vicious acts." The Vancouver Police Department has reported that the number of anti-Asian, hate-related crimes spiked in April, with 11 occurring last month, compared with 12 for all of 2019. "Chinese Canadians have deep roots in this province," Kang says. "Over many generations, Chinese Canadians have worked alongside all British Columbians to build the vibrant, multicultural society we enjoy today" she added. Kang has called on victims or witnesses to report hate crimes to police and urges all B.C. residents to "stand together and condemn these actions that seek to divide." Meanwhile NDP MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale Bowinn Ma has also spoken on the importance of inclusiveness with a jump in anti-Asian hate crimes during COVID-19.
By Muskan Sandhu
Image Source: Philippine Canadian Inquirer
COVID-19 has been hailed as the “great equalizer” by multiple influential entities including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s team, and American popstar Madonna. This statement presents only a part of the picture as the virus in itself may not be discriminatory, but its impact is mediated by a variety of pre-existing social identity markers, such as that of race, class, and gender, that often underlie discrimination. As racism rears its ugly head in Canada in the midst of a public health crisis, ethnic media reporting makes it amply clear that the virus’s repercussions are anything but a colour-blind phenomenon crashing through a vast expanse of a socially unmarked territory.
In the context of the Vancouver Police Department’s statement that it had “seen an uptick in the number of racially-motivated crimes,” the Filipino Post, a weekly Filipino newspaper from Vancouver, pointed out that “from Canada and the U.S. to Europe and across Asia, the global coronavirus pandemic has brought with it an increase in racist attacks and microaggressions against people of Asian descent.” The Punjabi BC Round Up on Zee TV Canada reported that in response to the increase in racist hate crimes, the BC government put together a committee to act against racism.
Many Chinese media outlets in Canada denounced the role mainstream media reports may have played in fueling anti-Asian sentiment. The Global News piece on the alleged role of the United Front in exporting PPE from Canada to China was the focal point of these stories. BCbay, a Chinese newspaper from Vancouver, didn’t mince words in stating that “over the past 20 years, there have been too many mainstream articles smearing China and smearing the Chinese community in Canada.” Similarly, another Chinese newspaper from Vancouver, Van People, wrote that the “noble behaviour” of overseas Chinese people “rushing to send” PPE to China “was painted negatively by the story [in Global News], which misled and deepened the local community’s fear of Chinese Canadians, leading to racial discrimination against Chinese and Asian groups.”
This Chinese media is also replete with discussions about whether Conservative MP Derek Sloan’s remarks questioning the loyalty of Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam were racist or not. The majority of Chinese outlets were quick to note that while Tam may warrant criticism, the allegations of her favouring China would not have been made if she were of a non-Chinese descent and thus were racist in nature. Chinese newspapers Sing Tao Calgary and the Dushi.ca Vancouver edition compared Sloan’s criticism of Tam with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s criticism to illustrate how one was racist and the other wasn’t. The Markham-based Iask website wrote: “Unfortunately, just like in the U.S., when a politician sees how a racist dog whistle can mobilize votes, especially votes from xenophobic groups of people, they're bound to learn from Trump and keep blowing the dog whistle. Conservative leadership candidate Derek Sloan is clearly such a politician.”
Limited Chinese news outlets, however, sympathized with Sloan. Vansky, a Chinese newspaper from Vancouver, said that: “To determine whether Sloan is actually guilty of racial discrimination, we need to understand why he brought this topic up in the first place. Is it the expression of racial superiority? Or a political-ideological attack? If there is no evidence that Sloan said this out of racial superiority, he cannot be accused of racial discrimination, at most he can only be blamed for his indifference, misjudgment, or paranoia.”
The racism brought about by the pandemic isn’t limited to just the Chinese community. The discrimination against Filipino workers at the Cargill meat plant, who contracted COVID-19, is an example of the inequality borne out of the intersection of race, class, and resident status in Canada. Philippine Canadian News, a Filipino newspaper, reported that “Many Filipino workers and residents sent a letter to the company asking that the plant be closed so that safety measures could be put in place, but no actions were taken.” This inaction eventually caused the largest coronavirus outbreak in Canada. Consequently, as reported by Philippine Canadian Inquirer, Filipino people were not allowed to enter grocery stores or banks, and worse, blamed for spreading the virus.
On Red FM 106.7 The Evening Show, a Punjabi radio show from Calgary, the host commented that the poor economic standing of the migrant workers did not allow them the freedom of choice to quit their jobs because of dangerous working conditions. A guest doctor on the show added that since “companies want to make a profit and cut costs, they don’t care about how immigrants or temporary workers live,” that is, in group housing. Another host on the show noted that, “Since the workers at the plant are temporary foreign workers, they are afraid to speak up because it may cost them their job and consequently their permanent residence.” These factors coalesced together to lead to an unfair stigmatization of the Filipino community. The virus, if anything, has laid bare the deep inequalities present in our society and remains far from being the “great equalizer.”
WEB - Sing Tao Vancouver - Vancouver, 06/05/2020 - News, Chinese
Image Source: Sing Tao Vancouver website
Summary Translation: No byline - The Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society has been tapped by the province to help communities deal with hate activity and racism amid what the B.C. government describes as a rise in attacks against people of Asian heritage. Executive director David Lau said the group "is very proud to lead the important work being done in B.C. communities to stop the spread of racism and end the recent spikes in hate crimes." The society has been given $240,000 for the year. The group hopes to meet with community leaders from around the province. B.C.'s Minister of Citizens' Services Anne Kang said recent allegations of racially motivated attacks toward people of Asian heritage during the COVID 19 pandemic have been very concerning.
WEB - Van People - Vancouver, 04/05/2020 - ARTICLE, Chinese
Image Source: Van People website
Translated Summary: Wu Wei - Every May is Canada’s Asian Heritage Month. Unlike in previous years, May this year coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, causing celebrations, exhibitions and performances to be cancelled. Cabinet Minister Bardish Chagger issued a statement on May 1 announcing the start of Asian Heritage Month. The theme of this year's Asian Heritage Month is "Asian Canadians: Unity in Diversity." Chagger’s statement said that Asian Canadians come from more than 20 countries and each has a unique culture. Chagger also said she was disturbed by the reappearance of discriminatory and racist words and actions. All Canadians should fight back and resist xenophobia and racial discrimination, whether online or in real life. She said that despite being unable to participate in or organize events, we can still work hard to understand the history of Asian Canadians.