Occasional News Bulletin for Thurs, April 20th
Canada-China Focus
yd2 yd2
Updates from CCF

Updates on our Open Letter: Last Day to Sign on!

We are so grateful for the amazing amount of support on our open letter to the Right Honourable David Johnston, Special Rapporteur on Foreign Interference. We received well over thousand signatures from organizations and individuals. If you haven't signed it yet, tomorrow, Friday April 21st will be the last day the letter is open for further endorsements. The letter with the the final list of signatories will be formally sent to the Right Honorable David Johnston next week.
Canada and China in the News:

New Parliamentary Petition e-4395, regarding the Government of Canada's proposed Foreign Influence Transparency Registry

"If current legislation is not adequate to deal with intimidation by foreign actors, the government should consider instead strengthening these laws. We do not believe, however, that a foreign influence registry will meaningfully address intimidation of Canadians and other kinds of foreign interference... A broad definition of foreign influence could infringe on Canadians‘ charter rights while stifling international business and civil society links that are beneficial for Canada. It could also create a chill within vulnerable communities, leading them to withdraw from civic engagement and public service, which will result in their further marginalization."

Open for signature - April 14, 2023
Closing for signature - July 13, 2023

View the petition here: https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-4395




CBC News: "Trudeau urges caution to ensure foreign influence registry doesn't target diasporas"

Published: April 17, 2023
Written by: Lee Berthiaume
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cited the internment of Japanese- and Italian-Canadians during the Second World War on Monday as he urged caution in the face of growing calls for Canada to adopt a registry to track foreign influence efforts. Speaking at a news conference in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata, Trudeau acknowledged the federal government must find better ways to protect Canadians following reports of alleged interference by China in recent Canadian elections. But the prime minister insisted a balance must be struck to ensure any new measures are not too broad and do not target certain diaspora groups, such as Chinese-Canadians.





Toronto in-person event: "Chinese Languages in Canada"

Thursday, 27 April 2023 | 18:00 to 21:00 EDT | Glendon Gallery, Glendon campus | 2275 Bayview Avenue, North York 

Opening reception for the Canadian Language Museum's new traveling exhibition "Chinese Languages in Canada"

Register at:  https://ycar.apps01.yorku.ca/event/chinese-languages-canada-exhibit-opening/
Foreign Policy Analyses:

The Breach: Canada’s China panic is an omen of dangerous Cold War politics

Published: April 6, 2023
Written by: Listen Chen
While cries about Chinese interference have become frequent in western countries over the past few years, in Canada they have now reached a fever pitch. 
Those touting the narrative of foreign interference would like us to think that the problem is simple: how to defend Canadian democracy from the threat of shadowy Chinese agents. But the claims are not all they appear to be.




Podcast: North Untapped: "The danger of Canada's 'China panic' w/Listen Chen"

Episode description: "We spoke to writer Listen Chen about their recent article for The Breach examining how the current panic about alleged interference by China in Canadian elections is a troubling omen of a new Cold War.  We talk about the roots of the panic, how it puts ordinary members of the Chinese diaspora community at risk, and how it erases the diversity of viewpoints within that community."





The Conversation: "Concerned about foreign interference in Canada? An ‘enemy agent’ registry is not the answer"

Published: April 17, 2023
Written by: Jordan Stranger-Ross
"Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has acknowledged what he called Canada‘s 'difficult historical experiences' and cited the internment of Japanese and Italian Canadians as reason to be cautious. Nonetheless, information circulated by the Ministry of Public Safety suggests that if a registry is created, Canadians who advocate viewpoints deemed favourable to foreign interests might be fined or imprisoned, even in cases when they‘ve received no payment or benefit for expressing those views. People accused of intending to express such viewpoints might also be penalized, even if they‘ve not yet done so."




iAffairs: "The ’Chinese Interference‘ Story Is Rooted In Xenophobia, Economic Decline"

Published: April 6, 2023
Written by: Owen Shalk
"In Canada, many conservatives continue to view Trudeau as a dictatorial, even communistic figure whose values don‘t align with their myopic understanding of Canadian history. As such, the allegation that China placed him in power makes sense to them, despite the dearth of evidence.
Sinophobia has played a significant part in the ongoing non-scandal. While Russiagate borrowed from the deep well of cultural Russophobia in the US, the “Chinese election interference” story also has its roots in xenophobia—in this case, the “yellow peril” fears that many would have thought Canada had outgrown."
Historical Reflections

Video: Lost Stories: 
Yee Clun and Regina’s "White Women’s Labour Law"

"Yee Clun, a Regina restaurant owner, came to prominence in 1924, fighting a Saskatchewan law that required Chinese-Canadians to secure a municipal license to hire "white women" as employees. Public hearings were held that reflected not only the racial prejudices of the time, but also significant support for a well-respected businessman and member of the community... Building on research spearheaded by the Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society, the artist Xiao Han developed a photography-based project that was installed in August 2017 in Regina‘s Art Park, a site made available by the Heritage Community Association."





Vancouver Book Launch event:
White Riot, by Henry Tsang

White Riot was released on April 4, 2023, by Arsenal Pulp Press. A launch for the book will be held on April 30 at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver‘s Chinatown neighbourhood.

Email info@arsenalpulp.com to RSVP.

Drawing on Henry‘s 360 Riot Walk video work, ’White Riot‘ includes more than 100 images and includes essays by seven authors.
“Emblematic of a systemically racist era, White Riot reveals the social and political environment of the time, when racialized communities were targeted through legislated as well as physical acts of exclusion and violence,” writes publisher Arsenal Pulp Press.




Resources of Interest

Made in China Journal: The Peoples' Map of Global China

"The People’s Map of Global China tracks China’s complex and rapidly changing international activities by engaging an equally global civil society. Using an interactive, open access, and online ‘map’ format, we collaborate with nongovernmental organisations, journalists, trade unions, academics, and the public at large to provide updated and updatable information on various dimensions of Global China in their localities...This bottom-up, collaborative initiative seeks to provide a platform for the articulation of local voices often marginalised by political and business elites."




Reading List:
The Cold Tea Collective: Cold Tea Reads

The Cold Tea Collective is a new media platform, sharing the real stories, perspectives, and experiences of the next generation of the Asian diaspora. "Our aim is to share stories that help amplify, inspire and empower the Asian community."

Cold Tea Reads provides periodic reading lists by Asian authors on various themes. For April, Cold Tea released a list of 5 climate fiction books by Asian authors in celebration of Earth Day.

Next newsletter arriving to your inbox:
Thursday, May 4th