Stop the Discrimination Against Chinese Working-Class People

Stop the Discrimination Against Chinese Working-Class People
Oct. 30, 2017

King-mong 1200x630

Good afternoon everyone. My name is King-mong Chan and I am an organizer with the Chinatown Concern Group and Chinatown Action Group.  I acknowledge that we are on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations.  I am asking the Board to reject the development application.

At tomorrow’s City Council meeting, the General Manager of Community Services will be recommending to City Council to acknowledge past discrimination against Chinese people and to offer a formal apology.  This discrimination however has not passed and is actually the point of discussion today.  105 Keefer is situated by the Chinatown Memorial Square within Chinatown, a working-class Chinese neighbourhood whose livelihoods are being threatened by gentrification, caused by market housing projects such as 105 Keefer and zoning polices that allow these projects to be built.

To approve this project is to continue this history of racism against Chinese people by saying Mr. Beedie’s profits are more important than the lives of the Chinese working-class residents.  To approve this project will go against Council’s motion on May 27, 2014 that directs staff to recommend steps and actions in support of reconciliation.  But the Chinatown Historic Area Planning Committee voted to not support this project on Oct. 12th.  The permit staff committee report for this application indicates that 78% of respondents were opposed to this application.  Close to 3,000 people have signed a petition rejecting market housing at this site.  Since 2014, the community has loudly vocalized opposition to Beedie’s market housing applications at this site.  To approve this project is not supporting reconciliation! Instead it means you are deciding to escalate hostility against the Chinese community!

And so Development Permit Board members, I call on you to stop the discrimination against Chinese people. Reject Beedie’s application, recommend to City Council a zoning policy at 105 Keefer that support justice and reconciliation such as no market housing and put people before profit!

King-mong Chan 陳敬望, is an organizer with Chinatown Action Group and Chinatown Concern Group.
Photo credit:  Lenée Son

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