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“Some lost their lives…and never returned,” Ing said.
“Those that did survive and returned home took up the fight for the right to vote.” Full voting rights were not granted to Chinese-Canadians in Vancouver until 1949.
“Most important is to thank the many Chinese that came before us--the people that suffered and endured many challenges but kept the belief that this Vancouver had not only room for them…,” said Louie, his voice breaking before continuing.
“…but they also belonged.” Louie and the mayor later told reporters the apology is one commitment of the current council to strengthen relations with the Chinese community.
“The hardships and discrimination endured by previous generations should be things of the past.Members of the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Vancouver also attended the event. Ing, who is in his eighties, spoke of the sacrifices made by Chinese-Canadian soldiers who served in the Canadian Forces during the Second World War, despite not being allowed to vote on the soil on which they were born.Some were in attendance, including 99-year-old Ronald Lee who Ing convinced to stand up before the crowd and be recognized; it brought a standing ovation.Raymond Louie, were used to prohibit Chinese residents from purchasing property.Councils of the day also lobbied the federal government to pass racially discriminatory immigration policies, including the Chinese Immigration Act in 1923, which formally kept Chinese people from immigrating to Canada.