A massage parlour is seen after a shooting, late Tuesday, March 16, 2021, in Atlanta. Amy Go says she was saddened to hear the news about the shootings in Atlanta that left six Asian American women dead, but as an Asian Canadian women, she wasn’t surprised. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Brynn Anderson

A massage parlour is seen after a shooting, late Tuesday, March 16, 2021, in Atlanta. Amy Go says she was saddened to hear the news about the shootings in Atlanta that left six Asian American women dead, but as an Asian Canadian women, she wasn’t surprised. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Brynn Anderson

Advocates call on Canadians to examine treatment of Asian Canadians

Killings in Atlanta follow a wave of recent attacks against Asian-Canadians since the novel coronavirus

Amy Go says she was saddened by the shootings in Atlanta that left six Asian American women dead, but as an Asian Canadian women, she wasn’t surprised.

Go, the president of the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice, said many Asian Canadian women have experienced hatred or violence in their daily life.

“There’s so much pain and grief,” she said about her initial reaction to the attack. “At the same time, as Asian Canadian women, none of us were surprised. There was no sense of shock. It was as if we knew this was coming … it just happened to be in Atlanta.”

The killings in Atlanta follow a wave of recent attacks against Asian Americans and Canadians since the novel coronavirus first arrived in North America.

In Atlanta, the 21-year-old suspect has denied his attack was racially motivated and claimed to have a “sex addiction,” with authorities saying he apparently saw massage parlours as sources of temptation.

The national council has tracked 931 anti-Asian racist incidents during COVID-19, and Go said the numbers should highlight myths about how Canadians view themselves.

“This myth about Canada that we are multicultural, more kind, we’re gentler than Americans, to me that’s just a myth. As racialized Canadians, particularly racialized women, we know that the reality is quite different,” she said.

Federal Trade Minister Mary Ng, who was born in Hong Kong before moving to Canada when she was seven, said she’s been the victim of discrimination.

“Every time I speak out about the need for us to keep working together as Canadians to prevent more intolerance and incidents of anti-Asian hate or discrimination, I will get a whole lot of other responses that are not becoming of Canadians,” she said in an interview.

She said the news of Tuesday’s attack left her feeling “horrified” and she emphasized the need for Canadians to offer support to the Asian Canadian community.

“I think the request is that Asian Canadians need all Canadians to stand alongside us, to speak out and to be vocal and to stand against anti-Asian racism and to certainly stand up for us in this fight,” Ng said.

Police in major cities across Canada have recorded increases in hate crimes in the past year, although not all could identify the specific targets of the alleged crimes.

Vancouver police reported a 717 per cent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes between 2019 and 2020, with the incidents peaking in May. Incidents in Vancouver have ranged from assaults to racist graffiti targeting businesses.

Sgt. Steve Addison, a Vancouver police spokesman, said in an email that police do not have the ability to recommend hate crimes charges under the Criminal Code. It is a sentencing provision that is applied by the courts if a person is convicted of a Criminal Code offence, Addison said.

Toronto police said it has seen an increase in the number of hate-motivated occurrences, comparing 2019 with 2020 — including incidents against Asian people — but could not provide data.

Ottawa police reported an increase of 56.9 per cent in the number of hate crime reports between 2019 and 2020, and noted Asian Canadians have seen the largest increase in hate incidents directed toward them.

Henry Yu, an associate professor in the University of British Columbia’s history department, said Asians have historically been blamed for a range of societal problems in Canada.

Yu cited the recent examples of people listing Chinese investment in Vancouver’s real estate market as a reason they cannot afford homes or the racist stereotype of Asians as poor drivers as ways Canadians blame others.

“I’m not a sex worker, I’m not female, but it doesn’t matter. The idea that Asians are blamed and scapegoated for societal problems that have nothing to do with us, that is what makes you feel insecure,” he said.

Discrimination against Asians can be traced back to when Canada became a formal country in 1867, he said, pointing to examples like the head tax specifically targeting people of Asian origin.

“(Discriminatory legislation) went hand in hand with the founding of the country,” he said.

Hate crimes

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. Photo: Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News
Interior Health opens up vaccine eligibility in Columbia Valley to 18 years or older

Only local residents can register and book appointments as COVID-19 case counts spike in the region

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

The Rec 9 and driving range are open at Bootleg Gap in Kimberley. Full course opens April 30.
Two Kimberley golf courses open for season

Purcell and Bootleg Gap are partially open today, Trickle Creek May 7

Kimberley is developing a policy on short term rentals. Air BnB screenshot.
Kimberley is developing a policy on short term rentals

The City of Kimberley is continuing the process of adopting a strategy… Continue reading

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
69 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 9,840 since the pandemic began

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Most Read