Asian Heritage Month
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The Days before Yesterday

By Anu Sahota

By the end of 2007, several seminal Canadian anniversaries will have passed - and I'm not talking about the 75th anniversary of the birth of Glenn Gould (though that's important too).

2007 will mark the 100th anniversary of the anti-Asiatic riot External Link in Vancouver's Chinatown; the 60th anniversary of Chinese and Indo-Canadians receiving full citizenship rights (Japanese would be granted franchise after the War Measures Act was lifted in 1948) as well as the overturn of the 1885 Chinese Head Tax, the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Continuous Journey Act; the 40th anniversary of revisions to the Immigration Act which allowed for greater migration of Asians to the Pacific; and the 10th anniversary of the British handover of Hong Kong to China - an event that brought a wave of immigrants from the Pacific Rim, along with an unprecedented economic investments in Canadian cities by Asian entrepreneurs.

In 1987, CBC news reflected on the 40th anniversary of the voting rights amendments

Though they did not have the right to vote in this country, over 500 Chinese-Canadians soldiers fought for Canada during World War Two (curiously, these soldiers were allowed to vote during the war if they were in uniform). In 1997, the CBC spoke with two veterans, Harry Ho and Roy Mah, about this fierce contradiction and their reasons for serving.


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