Canada, Ethnic Studies and the World

Edited by Stanley Lee

Technical support by Bing Liu

Interviewed by Stanley Lee and Yi Fang

 

On March 31, 2017, we visited David Eby’s constituency office before the writ is dropped. For those of you who don’t know, he is the incumbent MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey. In the 2011 by-election, he gave the premier a run for her money losing a close race. In 2013, his campaign chased Premier Clark to Kelowna West. Despite of winning another mandate for the BC Liberals, Clark lost her seat in Vancouver-Point Grey to Eby.

 

Eby has known to be outspoken particularly for housing affordability problems across the province, so much that nearly every single media outlet has been paying attention to what he says.

 

He is a controversial figure within the Chinese-Canadian community in Metro Vancouver, even viewed negatively at times. Earlier in the debate of foreign money in the Metro Vancouver real estate market, his office revealed a group of foreign buyers and most of them happened to be ethnic Chinese. As a result, the reputation of being an “anti-Chinese politician” somewhat stuck with him within the Chinese-Canadian circles within Metro Vancouver.

 

The interview covered many topics, including the NDP’s plan for economic development, the root causes of the housing affordability crisis, the investment difficulties for newcomers, Eby’s own standing within the Chinese-Canadian community, as well as sinophobia.

 

This article will focus on 1) the NDP’s response to rumors about how they want to tackle foreign money in the housing market, and 2) how Eby views the sinophobia problem.

 

Before we get to the interview, here are links relevant to his campaign shall you be interested:

 

 

NDP’s Version on Housing Speculation Tax

 

Neway Opinion: The BC Liberals last year slapped on a 15 percent property transfer tax on foreign buyers. Now not too long ago, we were aware that your party has proposed some amendments as part of your election platform.

 

We’ve heard that the NDP is going to slap on a retroactive 2 percent tax annually on the property taxes for anyone who’s not paying community income tax here. I don’t know if there is some confusion, but there were reports that the NDP was going to cancel that one-time 15 percent property transfer tax for foreign buyers in favor of the new system, but now it doesn’t sound like you guys are going to get rid of it. Can you please clarify what is your party’s position on this situation?

 

His answer.

 

Sinophobia

 

Neway Opinion: We spoke to many members in the community. They feel there’s a bit of sinophobia sentiment going on in the society due to different factors.

  • Maybe because China is rising, and the collapse of psychological balance from the Western-centric world view
  • Maybe because the newcomers are economically more privileged than the previous generations, the rest of the society views them with more jealousy and therefore contempt.

What would you suggest be done? They want to be a part of this society, they want to make peace, but it seems that the media is not that friendly and then also tough, harsh words they’re getting from politicians. What’s going on here? Is this because of a media problem they want to get fixed? Is there something going on with the society? Is there anything that they should do that can make the whole situation better?

 

 

WeChat Poll Results

 

This article was published originally on the WeChat platform, which is the dominant social media used by Chinese newcomer communities around the world. At the end of the article, we included a poll of two questions, and we are including them here for your interest.