British Columbia apologizes for historical anti-Chinese laws

Premier Christy Clark issues formal apology for racist and discriminatory past policies

News from the north! B.C. says sorry. Last week, the Chinese community in British Columbia received a formal apology from the provincial government for racist past policies that targeted immigrants and residents.

Chinese community gets apology from B.C. for historical wrongs

On Thursday, British Columbia's premier Christy Clark issued the apology, aiming to make amends for more than a hundred historical laws, regulations and policies that discriminated against people of Chinese descent since the 1870s, such as denying immigrants the right to vote and charging them a head tax to immigrate.

There was no individual compensation offered as part of the apology, but it was announced that the government would put $1 million into a legacy fund that would be used to fund educational initiatives.

Here is the full text of the motion:

"Be it resolved that this Legislature apologizes for more than a hundred laws, regulations, and policies that were imposed by past provincial governments that discriminated against people of Chinese descent since 1871, when British Columbia joined Confederation, to 1947.

"These laws and policies denied British Columbia's Chinese communities' basic human rights, including but not limited to, the right to vote, hold public office, or own property; imposed labour, educational and employment restrictions; subjected them to health and housing segregation, and prevented them from fully participating in society.

"The House deeply regrets that these Canadians were discriminated against simply because they were of Chinese descent. All members of this House acknowledge that we all aspire to be a fair and just society where people of all nations and cultures are welcomed, accepted and respected.

"Be it further resolved that the House acknowledge that the Chinese Canadian Community endured untold hardships and persevered with grace and dignity.

"We acknowledge that despite being subjected to discriminatory laws, policies and practices, the Chinese community has made, and continues to make, substantial contributions to the culture, history and economic prosperity in our province."

More here: Clark apologizes for B.C.'s historical wrongs against Chinese immigrants

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