After recent reports of members of the Canadian-Chinese community facing racism due to the coronovirus, a new development relating to the issue comes as a shock to many BC residents.
On February 5, 2020, The Province newspaper’s front-page headline said “2nd Chine Virus Case in B.C.’ This headline was seen as racist and discriminatory from members of the Chinese community in BC and others.
Leader of the British Columbia Liberal Party, Andrew Wilkinson, expressed his disgust by tweeting, “This is beyond disappointing to see this sort of thing happening in British Columbia. We don’t stereotype and fear monger in the face of a health scare. We need to work together to fight the virus, not each other. Together we are so much stronger.” (sic)
Vancouver news and lifestyle publication, Vancouver is Awesome, also shared on its website an anonymous letter by a Chinese resident living in the Lower Mainland expressing thoughts on the headline.
This is beyond disappointing to see this sort of thing happening in British Columbia. We don’t stereotype and fear monger in the face of a health scare. We need to work together to fight the virus, not each other. Together we are so much stronger. pic.twitter.com/PptMYgeGyW— Andrew Wilkinson (@Wilkinson4BC) February 6, 2020
“It is like a bombshell in Vancouver’s Chinese community, everyone is pissed. This is very insensitive and plainly not proper headline. WHO, Canadian and Provincial authorities are all referring this virus as novel coronavirus, so there is an official name to this virus that you should be using,” the letter stated.
Your choice of words calling it China virus is simply wrong and not in accordance with Canadian values, not up to Canadian journalism ethic standard,” said the resident urging The Province to “make an apology for this insensitive choice of words.”
Since the outbreak, members of Chinese community all over Canada like the Chinese Canadian National Council, Calgary Chinese Community Service Association and other organizations and representatives have expressed their concern on racism and xenophobia that the community has to face due to the coronavirus. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau also warned against the rise of discrimination as fears of the coronavirus spread.
“There is no place in our country for discrimination driven by fear or misinformation,” Trudeau said at a Lunar New Year celebration at a banquet hall in Scarborough, in Toronto. “This is not something Canadians will ever stand for.”