- Resources, Campaigns and Events
- Apology for Historical Wrongs
- Multicultural Advisory Council
- Report on Multiculturalism
- Embracing Difference, Engaging Community Symposium
Apology for Historical Wrongs Legacy
Chinese men work on the Canadian Pacific Railway in British Columbia, 1884 (Image: Boorne & May/Library and Archives Canada, C-006686B).
The Chinese Historical Wrongs Consultation Final Report and Recommendations is now available. (PDF)
Historical Wrongs Legacy Initiatives
Historical wrongs legacy process moves forward
Apology for Historical Wrongs
In May, 2014 a formal apology was delivered on behalf of all members of the B.C. legislative assembly to Chinese Canadians for historical wrongs committed by past provincial governments.
"We can’t undo the actions of the past – but we can acknowledge them, apologize, and learn from them," said Premier Christy Clark. "Today, we rightly recognize and celebrate cultural diversity – and that’s why all sides of the legislature were able to come together to offer our deepest regrets to members of the Chinese community for historic wrongs."
Recommended legacy initiatives are outlined in the final consultation report released on May 15, with the official apology. Legacy projects will fulfill these recommendations and are consistent with the broad themes heard at the consultation regarding remembering hardships, celebrating achievements, and reducing the possibility of this ever happening again.
In late 2013, the Ministry of International Trade and Ministry Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism began a consultation process leading to a formal apology to Chinese Canadians for historical wrongs. Participants in the consultations were asked to consider what the apology should say and how it should be delivered. They were also invited to suggest legacy initiatives to help British Columbians understand the impact of these historical wrongs and the achievements of Chinese Canadians.
Between Nov. 17, 2013, and Jan. 27, 2014 seven public consultation forums were held in various communities throughout British Columbia. Four forums were held outside the Lower Mainland (Victoria, Kamloops, Kelowna and Prince George) and three in Metro Vancouver (Vancouver, Burnaby and Richmond).
Approximately 1,300 people engaged in the consultation process. Participants at the forums included staff and volunteers from large community associations, family and clan associations, merchants’ associations, educators, veterans, academics, Freemasons, community service providers, students and youth, community elders, and a multitude of members of the general public.
Based on the information gathered, the historical context was summarized and a series of recommendations were prepared. A list of recommended legacy initiatives is outlined in the Final Report on the Chinese Historical Wrongs Consultation (PDF).
Discriminatory Legislation in British Columbia 1872‐1948 English (PDF)
Consultation Terms of Reference
The Chinese community in British Columbia suffered legislated inequality and discrimination between 1885 and 1923 when multiple forms of discriminatory legislation were imposed, including the Chinese Immigration Act and again in 1923 to 1947 when Chinese individuals were restricted from entering Canada under the Chinese Exclusion Act.
The government will engage with British Columbia's Chinese community associations and individuals who were directly and indirectly impacted by prejudicial legislation to work towards offering an appropriate public apology, read in the provincial legislature and supported by all parties in the B.C. government.
Financial redress from the provincial government will not be considered by the minister. In 2006, the federal government acknowledged their role in legislative injustices with a parliamentary apology and ex-gratia payments to surviving head tax payers and surviving spouse of head tax payers only.
Hold seven community consultation forums to bring together relevant Chinese community associations and individuals directly impacted by historical wrongs, to seek input on the best approach in providing an apology.
Specifically, consultation forums will:
- Seek input from community associations and individuals who were directly and indirectly impacted by historical discriminatory legislation.
- Engage local representatives from a number of Chinese-Canadian communities to confirm consultation locations and receptivity.
- Conduct focused consultations seeking comment, suggestions and advice regarding the wording and delivery of an apology from the legislature.
The minister, in collaboration with members of the Opposition, will prepare a consultation summary following the conclusion of the consultation process that will include:
- A brief synopsis of public comments, suggestions and advice.
- Comments and observations from the minister.
- Recommendations, including wording and delivery advice of any apology from the Legislative Assembly.
Participate in Consultation
Consultations will be held in various communities. These consultations are open to the public.
Community Date & Time Location
Victoria Sunday, November 17, 2013 Consolidated Chinese Benevolent Association
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. 636 Fisgard Street
Victoria, BC V8W 1R6
Kamloops Thursday, December 19, 2013 Coast Kamloops Hotel & Conference Centre
7:00 – 9:00 p.m. 1250 Rogers Way
Kamloops, BC V1S 1N5
Vancouver Sunday, January 12 , 2014 Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. 50 E Pender St
Vancouver, BC V6A 3V6
Kelowna Tuesday, January 14, 2014 Best Western Plus Kelowna Hotel & Suites
5:00 – 7:00 p.m. 2402 Hwy 97 North
Kelowna, V1X 4J1
Burnaby Monday, January 20, 2014 Metro Town Hilton
7:00 – 9:00 p.m 6083 McKay Ave
Burnaby, V5H 2W7
Prince George Wednesday, January 22, 2014 Civic Centre – Room 208
7:00 – 9:00 p.m. 808 Civic Plaza
Prince George, BC V2L 5T6
Richmond Monday, January 27, 2014 Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport
7:00 – 9:00 p.m. 8181 Cambie Road
Richmond, B.C. V6X 3X9
The Ministry also accepted written submissions from various organizations and individuals, which are also available as part of the consultation record.
View written submissions