Calling it an “an important day for Council and all Vancouverites to come together and recognize historical wrongdoings committed against Chinese people,” Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson formally apologized to Vancouver’s Chinese community this past weekend for the city’s past wrongs.
Over 500 people attended the event, which was held at the at the Chinese Cultural Centre, with hundreds more viewing on screens along Keefer Street.
The city said the apology “publicly acknowledged” past legislation, regulations, and policies of previous Vancouver City Councils that discriminated against residents of Chinese descent, along with clear references to key past events and actions of discrimination.
“I am honoured to deliver this apology in front of the many hundreds of people who have gathered here at the Chinese Cultural Centre and on the nearby streets of Chinatown,” said Robertson. “It’s a powerful reminder of how important this apology is for Vancouver as a City of Reconciliation.”
Robertson read the apology in English, and former Vancouver City Councillors Maggie Ip and Bill Yee read the apology in Cantonese and Sze Yup dialect.
The city’s apology follows a similar one that the BC government made in 2014.
During that apology, then-Premier Christy Clark said while the governments which passed the laws and policies “acted in a manner that was lawful at the time, today this racist discrimination is seen by British Columbians – represented by all members of the legislative assembly – as unacceptable and intolerable.”