More from Canadian Press
April 22, 2018
April 22, 2018 8:56 PM EDT
A man uses a bullhorn to organize a group photo of lion dancers and performers during a Chinatown Culture Day event coinciding with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson delivering an apology on behalf of the city for past discrimination against residents of Chinese descent, during a special city council meeting in Chinatown, in Vancouver on Sunday April 22, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver city council has delivered a formal apology to the Chinese community for historical discrimination.
Mayor Gregor Robertson, who read the apology in the English, said it was an important day to come together, recognize wrongdoings and build a better future.
The apology publicly acknowledged past legislation, regulations and policies of previous city councils that discriminated against residents of Chinese descent.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson delivers an apology on behalf of the city for past discrimination against residents of Chinese descent, during a special city council meeting in Chinatown, in Vancouver on Sunday April 22, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Former city councils barred residents of Chinese descent from voting until 1948, and from civic employment until 1952.
They also advocated for discriminatory policies like the federal head tax, and made various attempts at segregating public spaces like swimming pools and cemeteries.
More than 500 people gathered at the Chinese Cultural Centre for the event, which was part of a larger Chinatown Cultural Day celebration.
Former Vancouver City councillors Maggie Ip and Bill Yee read the apology in Cantonese and the Sze Yup dialect.
The City of New Westminster became the first B.C. municipality to formally apologize to Chinese-Canadians for past discrimination in 2010.
In 2015, Chinese-Canadians received an apology from then-premier Christy Clark on behalf of British Columbia for more than 100 racist laws, regulations and policies of past B.C. governments.
In 2006, the federal government offered an apology for the head tax imposed on Chinese immigrants and included $20,000 in compensation for families or surviving people who paid the tax.