A new poll says that from stereotyping to slurs to outright violence, a shocking number of ethnic British Columbians say they have faced discrimination.
The Insights West poll suggests four out of [...]
Nearly half of China's super-wealthy individuals are considering leaving the country, a new survey said with most looking to Canada citing better overseas educational and employment opportunities for their children.
The global survey of 2,000 high net worth individuals by Barclays Wealth found that 47 percent of the wealthy Chinese who were questioned plan to move overseas within the next five years.
Asian Pacific Post
33 per cent of house buyers in city last year were mainlanders, according to leading firm
Asian Pacific Post
An unusual trend is playing out in some federal Liberal Party riding nominations as a group of men with close links to the Chinese regime do their best to support some Chinese candidates.
The Globe and Mail reported the unusual party nominations in Toronto’s suburbs in August, where Mandarin-speaking Chinese with powerful backers have been leveraging their Chinese community connections in a bid to win riding nominations.
Among those supporting candidates in the nominations is Ontario’s Liberal immigration and trade minister Michael Chan. Chan backed Geng Tan, a prominent Chinese community leader who secured the nomination for Don Valley North in Toronto.
by Robert Lee (@RobertinSeattle)
Last week I came across an article in the Halifax Chronicle Herald memorializing a tragic day fifty years ago when three young boys were randomly gunned down by a man who was found to be mentally disturbed. My own memories of that time came flooding back, along with the realization that I had narrowly missed being a victim myself.
I was 13 that summer in 1964, the son of the first Chinese boy to live in Halifax. My dad had been there since 1916 and had grown up to be an important fixture in the community, eager to help anyone and everyone.
My younger brothers and I were accompanying our mother (who didn’t speak any English) on a cruise ship that would take us from Halifax to New York City in two days to visit our sister. Among other things, Dad would often book travel arrangements for many in the Halifax Chinese community because he spoke perfect English so he knew how to convey the details to the travel agent (who all too happily paid him a small fee for each ticket he sold).
As the oldest son in the family, I was in charge of our group, talking to the baggage handlers, the waiters and other staff on board. Dad dropped us off mid-afternoon hours before departure so he could head off and run a few errands before heading home to a quiet house. We were shown to our cabin and settled in when it suddenly hit me that I had forgotten my stash of vacation comic books back at home! With so much time left to wait for departure, I ran down the gangplank and off the ship, heading up South Street just a couple of blocks back to our house. Dad wasn’t home yet so I let myself back in and retrieved my comics and left him a note. Comics in hand, I dashed back to the ship and into our cabin with hours to spare!
The ship finally set sail into the Atlantic on to New York City. And not being accustomed to any kind of motion, Mom immediately got seasick and spent her entire time in our cabin throwing up. So my brothers and I would have the run of the ship. What a blast! It was one opportunity to enjoy some rare moments of freedom and independence. We’d eat our meals in the dining room enjoying being waited on by the staff and we’d take a little food back to Mom in the cabin, even though she couldn’t really eat much the whole time we were on the ship. We’d spend our days exploring the entire ship level by level and stopping here and there to look around with no adult supervision!
Two days later, we pulled into New York Harbor, passing the Statue of Liberty to pull into our dock. After disembarking, we cleared immigration and customs with our paperwork and were greeted by our sister and her family. We drove over to their house in Brooklyn and settled in to get our sea legs back.
Dutifully, I went over to the phone to call Dad as we had always been taught to do when I arrived anywhere – I placed a collect call for him to our number at home. He would typically decline the collect call, “I’m sorry. He’s not here right now. Could I take a message?” was always his response and the operator would do her job with no charge on either end. It was another one of his ways of being frugal and not wasting money, carried over from his days of living through the Great Depression. (How many of you remember this trick too? I always wondered how many operators would shake their heads each time a collect call came in.)
But I couldn’t believe what happened next! This time, he actually said, “Yes, this is him. I will accept the call!” I fell back into my chair! “I need to talk to you about something,” he said.
He proceeded to tell me about the shooting spree that had just taken place in the South End of town, close to where we lived. Apparently someone had shot three children while riding his bike. It had happened around the time I had dashed home and back to the ship to grab my comic books!
That fact didn’t hit home until I read that Herald piece and saw the map showing the killer’s route through the South End. I could see that he had ridden along close to the railway line near the harbour. I would have been crossing through the same area right around the same time on my way back to our house.
I spent a lot of that summer vacation thinking about that horrific event and the death of the two young boys (the third survived). But, in our house, we never talked about it again.
Robert Lee is an entrepreneur/artist whose diverse background encompasses computer programming and hardware design, marketing consulting, advertising and electronic payment systems. He runs a blog called Being Chinese alongside his brother, which explores the history of growing up Chinese in the West.
This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Chinese hackers are targeting Canadian firms and government offices with worrisome success but the issue has yet to become a serious policy consideration for any...
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The Art of Zhen, Shan, Ren (Truth, Compassion, Tolerance) International Exhibition opened at Toronto City Hall on July 21 with a warm welcome from city...
by Robin Brown (@) in Toronto
I became a Canadian citizen in November last year. Like most immigrants to Canada, I am proud and grateful to join my fellow Canadians in building this extraordinary nation. That didn’t stop me, however, from sharing in the hope and ultimate frustration that the English around the world experience every four years as we watch our national team compete and fail in the World Cup. And, clearly in Toronto, I am not alone. The trans-national identities of Canadian citizens are no more evident than during the World Cup or other international sports tournaments.
According to the Economist magazine we are living in an age of diasporas. Currently over 200 million people are living in a different country than the one they were born in and that number is rising rapidly. This population, alongside their children, is creating huge ethnic diasporas who share a common culture but are geographically dispersed. The internet has enabled these diasporas to maintain an unprecedented cultural coherence through constant communication worldwide. Both immigrant Canadians and those born here are clearly comfortable embracing both their Canadian national identity alongside membership of an ethnic diaspora.
The implications this has for geo-politics and public policy is widely discussed. But my interest is in the implications for business and marketing. Canadian marketers used to be able to influence the shared experiences of their consumers in limited and known geographical parameters. Now, they find themselves in an unprecedented situation where so many of the people they are trying to reach did not grow up sharing common experiences of their brands and products. We used to know that some communication may “spill over” from access to U.S. TV stations or trips across the border. But now we are in a situation where an Indo-Canadian youth may be more influenced by Pepsi India’s sponsorship of cricket than any activity Pepsi Canada initiates.
In our new book, Migration Nation, Kathy Cheng and I argue that we are entering a new world of “borderless marketing”. In this new world, companies can reach large global segments that share an ethnic culture and related consumer tastes and preferences across the world. But, of course, this assumes that these diasporas are relatively homogenous in their preferences and tastes. Is that a fair assumption? Does a Chinese Canadian share a common culture with a Chinese American or a resident of China? Does their ethnicity have a stronger influence on their consumer preferences than their location or citizenship?
The answer is of course, that it depends. It depends on the product category. For categories where ethnic culture is highly influential like food you will find commonalities across the diaspora. It also depends on the characteristics of the diaspora. For example, Bollywood provides a common entertainment culture that unites many in the South Asian diaspora. Other ethnicities may not have the same unifying attributes. And, of course, the environments in which the diaspora settles influence their homogeneity.
Levels of acculturation
Our recent research compared Chinese and South Asian Americans and Canadians’ level of acculturation using Geoscape and & Environics Analytics CultureCodes (see graph). These analytical tools classify the population into five categories of acculturation based on their home language, knowledge of English/French and period of immigration. We found much higher levels of acculturation in the U.S. than in Canada for both groups. This results from a number of factors, including the “melting pot” vs. multicultural culture of each country. Of course, this means that these populations will differ and marketing efforts to reach them must navigate that difference.
But, understanding the diasporas may not be the biggest challenge faced by multinationals. The current reality for many multinationals is that many of their consumers are in some respects more global than they are. There may be good business reasons why an Asian Canadian cannot find Nescafe iced coffee here in Canada, but consumers are not aware or don’t care about the constraints of separate business units, tariffs and supply chain logistics. They are connected globally and informed of products and services that are used by their ethnic diaspora across the world.
Multinational companies need to become as globally connected as their consumers. I am often surprised that behind a seemingly global brand there are so many disconnected business units. For example, it should be common sense for North American companies to at least connect to their branches in Asia to simply learn more about the over 10 million Asian population living within their market borders. Yet, even that task is often not as simple as it should be. Let alone other tasks such as ensuring that products and marketing assets developed outside of North America can be effectively leveraged here.
So, are we entering a world of borderless marketing? Slowly. There are glimpses of it. Unilever, for example, is effectively doing it. The Asian products under the Knorr brand are marketed to the Asian diaspora in North America by an international business unit independent of Unilever Canada or U.S. But, for many, the task of connecting to global diasporas and navigating the new world of borderless marketing requires not only an understanding of that new audience but a cultural and organizational shift. Canada is one of the most diverse nations in the developed world. Our population is highly globalized. Now is the time for our business culture to embrace and take a lead in the borderless future.
Robin Brown is Senior Vice President at Environics Research Group and co-author of the newly released book, “Migration Nation: A Practical Guide to Doing Business in Globalized Canada”.
-- Canada's economic development minister Navdeep Bains at a Public Policy Forum economic summit