渥太华 – 2019年5月14日星期二 



Honourable Senators, it is with great pride that I rise today to mark Asian Heritage Month. As stated in the declaration 17 years ago, “Diversity represents one of Canada’s greatest strengths, and we strive to ensure that all Canadians have the opportunity to reach their full potential and participate in Canada’s civic life.” 

One Chinese-Canadian – who did just that – was celebrated author, Wayson Choy, considered to be a pioneer of Asian literature here in Canada. His most lauded works The Jade Peony and Paper Shadows: A Chinatown Childhood explored the difficult issues of identity politics and the challenges of growing up in an immigrant community in Vancouver in the 1950s. 

This courageous and enduring author, who recently passed away, had his remarkable accomplishments fittingly recognized in 2005 when he received the Order of Canada. 

Choy’s resolve to lean into adversity was remarkable and serves as a prime example of how one can find success even when confronted with great struggle. 

Today, we are fortunate to live in a country that welcomes and embraces diversity. However, this has not always been the case, for our history includes many sad examples of systematic discrimination against cultural minorities. For example, on this day, May 14th, we mark the 72nd anniversary of the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1923. This law not only imposed a head tax but restricted nearly all Chinese immigrants to Canada. 

In the late 1940’s, Kew Dock Yip, Canada’s first lawyer of Chinese descent, along with a group of lawyers and activists, successfully lobbied for the repeal of the Act. 

Some 60 years later, a formal apology was made by Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper whom I proudly quote: “We have the collective responsibility to build a country based firmly on the notion of equality of opportunity, regardless of one’s race or ethnic origin.” 

The Japanese community also suffered injustices and in 1988, Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney acknowledged and apologized saying “the treatment of Japanese Canadians during and after World War II was unjust and violated principles of human rights as they are understood today.” 

I believe we should continue to learn from our mistakes in order to pave an inclusive and respectful path for future generations and set an example for the world. 

Colleagues, I encourage you to attend the Asian Heritage Month reception this evening co-hosted by my fellow colleagues. Together, we will celebrate our cultural diversity while recognizing the positive impact of the Asian community throughout Canada’s civic life. 

Thank you. 


新华侨网 » 联邦参议员胡子修至此庆祝“亚裔文化遗产月”

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