chinese canadians

Racism against Chinese-Canadians now common in Canada during pandemic

Racism against Chinese-Canadians is becoming disturbingly commonplace during the pandemic, according to a new survey from the Angus Reid Institute in partnership with the University of Alberta.

Of the 500 Canadians of Chinese ethnicity surveyed, 50 per cent reported being called names or insulted as a direct result of the pandemic.

Slightly less than half (43 per cent) say they've been further threatened or intimidated.

And it's not just verbal threats and/or assaults; 30 per cent of Chinese-Canadians also report being exposed to racist graffiti or messaging on social media since the pandemic began.

Almost the same number say they have frequently been made to feel as they though they pose a threat to the health and safety of others.

A vast majority of Chinese-Canadians (87 per cent) also believe that other people in the country don't view them as fully Canadian at least some of the time.

Canadians of Chinese ethnicity also report altering or changing their routines to mitigate some of the worst of the abuse.

Six-in-ten report altering their routines, with half saying that they have done so frequently.

"Walking down the street with a mask on, there have been instances where people will scream at me to go back to China or swear and say other racist remarks," one woman reported. "I look Chinese but I am not from China even though I have Chinese heritage. Makes it all very confusing."

Minister of Small Business Mary Ng took to social media on Monday to comment on the alarming results of the survey.

"This alarming trend — which has been referred to as the 'shadow pandemic' — hits home for me," Ng wrote. "It's yet another reminder that racism is real, and it has devastating effects on people's lives every single day."

"These experiences are upsetting, troubling and sadly far too familiar to the stories I've heard directly from Canadians across the country. To anyone who has experienced this — I want you to know that I'm with you."

Chief Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam issued a warning on social media about anti-Asian racism in Canada as early as January 2020.

"I am concerned about the growing number of reports of racism and stigmatizing comments on social media directed to people of Chinese and Asian descent," Tam wrote.

"Racism, discrimination and stigmatizing language are unacceptable and very hurtful. These actions create a divide of [us versus them]. Canada is a country built on the deep-rooted values of respect, diversity and inclusion."

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