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Senator claims racist reporters responsible for anti-Asian rhetoric over housing

“These views have entered the mainstream and will be difficult to dislodge. Even if the most overt anti-Asian hate recedes, a climate of resentment will be allowed to fester, awaiting another false narrative,” said Sen. Yuen Pau Woo.

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Canadian journalists “who do not see themselves as racist” are responsible for “half-truths” blaming Asian investors for high urban house prices, says a Liberal Senator.

“Let’s get down to brass tacks: The recent rise in anti-Asian racism (in) Vancouver is fueled by false narratives around ‘Chinese’ culpability for housing affordability,” Sen. Yuen Pau Woo (B.C.) wrote in one of a series of social media posts marking Asian Heritage Month, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

“They were advanced by journalists, academics and politicos who do not see themselves as racists but whose half-truths and casual asides were weaponized by actual haters and xenophobes.

“These views have entered the mainstream and will be difficult to dislodge. Even if the most overt anti-Asian hate recedes, a climate of resentment will be allowed to fester, awaiting another false narrative.”

Woo did not comment on a proposed $175 million-a-year equity tax on offshore real estate speculators the Liberals announced in last month’s budget.

Woo in a Facebook video went further in complaining there aren’t enough Asian-Canadians in Parliament.

“Discrimination against Asian-Canadians is not a new thing and our community is generally under-represented in leadership positions across the country, from board rooms to universities to the courts and, well, even Parliament,” he said.

“Let’s remember we cannot truly and fully celebrate Asian heritage unless Asian-Canadians are fully part of the fabric of Canadian society.”

In its April 19 budget, the Liberal government said it will levy a 1% annual equity tax on offshore non-resident owners of Canadian homes. The tax would take effect January 1, 2022 on property “considered to be vacant or underused.” It is worth up to $11,000 a year on foreign owners of houses and condos in Vancouver and Toronto, according to average sale prices from the Canadian Real Estate Association.

“Housing is such an important issue for all of us,” Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland testified last Friday at the Senate national finance committee.

“Given that our population is growing we must build, build and build again new housing every year.

“You mention the tax measure. This is an important measure. We don’t want to encourage any sort of speculation on housing.

“Housing must be there to provide shelter for Canadian families. Housing shouldn’t be taken over by speculators. That tax is one of the measures we’re bringing in to ensure that remains the case.”

The British Columbia Supreme Court in 2019 dismissed challenges of a similar provincial tax on offshore land buyers.

B.C. in 2016 introduced a 15% Additional Property Transfer Tax.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Editor of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Left Coast

    May 4, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    Asians can’t be racist . . . . .

    Take a trip to Richmond BC and see for yourself !

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Third pastor arrested in Alberta for breaking COVID lockdowns

Pastor Tim Stephens, of the Fairview Baptist Church, was arrested by city police on Sunday afternoon.

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A Calgary baptist preacher has become the third religious leader arrested in Alberta for breaking COVID-19 regulations over church attendance.

Pastor Tim Stephens, of the Fairview Baptist Church, was arrested by city police on Sunday afternoon. He had been the subject of repeated warnings from Alberta Health Services for having too many people at his services.

Earlier this month, on the church’s website, Stephens vowed to contiue services.

“Our actions are borne out of theological commitments to the Lordship of Christ and his instruction to the church as revealed in Scripture,” wrote Stephens.

“This, above all, is the reason why we have been gathering and will continue to gather … the consequences may be severe. But we stand before Christ rather than bend before consequences.”

Pastor James Coates, of the GraceLife Church, outside Edmonton, spent a month in jail after he was arrested by the RCMP for breaking lockdown regulations repeatedly. His case is still before the courts.

Last week, Pastor Art Pawlowski was arrested in Calgary for continuing to flout the regulations at his street chruch.

Calgary police at the AHS issued a joint statement saying Stephens was “arrested this afternoon for organizing a church service that was held today at Fairview Baptist Church, located at 230 78 Ave. S.E., that did not comply with public health orders, including masking, physical distancing and attendance limits. Police did not enter the church during today’s service.

“CPS has received repeated calls from concerned citizens regarding church services held at Fairview Baptist Church over the past several weeks. Last weekend, Pastor Stephens was proactively served a copy of the Court of Queen’s Bench Order obtained by AHS,” the statement said.

“The pastor acknowledged the injunction, but chose to move forward with today’s service, ignoring requirements for social distancing, mask-wearing and reduced capacity limits for attendees.

“For several weeks, AHS has attempted to work collaboratively with leadership at Fairview Baptist Church to address the ongoing public health concerns at the site. It is only when significant risk is identified or continued non-compliance is noted that AHS resorts to enforcement action.

“Once again, CPS acknowledges it is important to understand that law enforcement recognizes people’s desire to participate in faith-based gatherings as well as the right to protest. However, as we are still in a global pandemic, we all must comply with public health orders in order to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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LETTER: Hypocrisy in high school rodeo approval

I see the hypocrisy Premier Kenney, can you?

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RE: Hinshaw grants approval for high school rodeos

Dr. Hinshaw approved school rodeos after Premier Kenney thought the rodeo near Bowden was a bad idea. It’s the mixed messaging these two are giving that is making me mad. A lockdown with very minimum exemptions is what I thought Hinshaw wanted, but apparently not. A school rodeo can bloody well wait until after the lockdown is completed!! Let up on the Whistle Stop Cafe then, Dr. Hinshaw. What a bully.

It’s a real kick by Hinshaw, at the Whistle Stop Cafe owner. With his cafe now in chains, while Dr. Hinshaw gives out approvals during this so-called circuit breaker lockdown.

I see the hypocrisy Premier Kenney, can you?

Steven Ruthven
Calgary, AB

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Opposition calls for crackdown on animal activists

A proposed private members bill, C-205, would amend the Health of Animals Act to punish trespassers on farms with a maximum $250,000 fine and/or a maximum two-year prison sentence.

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By EMMA GREGORY

A coalition of federal Conservatives, NDP and Bloc MPs want to increase punishment for animal rights activists trespassing on farms, because they might make the animals sick.

A proposed private members bill, C-205, would amend the Health of Animals Act to punish trespassers on farms with a maximum $250,000 fine and/or a maximum two-year prison sentence.

Chief Veterinary Officer for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said there are no proven instances of an animal rights activists spreading a disease to animals while protesting at a farm.

“To our knowledge, there are not many documented cases from trespassing or from people having demonstrations. The one that I heard is the one in Quebec, but I’m not actually sure if there is evidence of transmission from the activists to the pigs. So in the scientific literature, we have not seen much evidence of transmission of disease from these activities,” said Dr. Jaspinder Komal, to the agriculture committee earlier this month.

The one instance Komal mentioned was an allegation made by Porgreg, a pig breeding facility in Saint Hyacinthe, Que.

The activists involved in that protest, members of the group Direct Action Everywhere, are charged under the Criminal Code with breaking and entering and mischief. Whether or not they gave pigs rotavirus is a matter before the court.

Rotaviruses are common amongst pig herds and typically are transmitted from pig to pig, via the fecal-oral route.

If a human were to spread a novel rotavirus to a pig it would be in a similar fashion.

When asked if she or any of her associates pooped in the barn, activist Jenny McQueen said, “No.”

Komal said the CFIA does not police activists.

“The CFIA enforces the Health of Animals Act and regulations which address disease and biological, chemical, physical agents that may affect animals or be transmitted to persons and in the same way to protect animals from these risks…CFIA inspectors are public officers they are not peace officers… In contrast, peace officers are generally police officers, their powers include the ability to detain or arrest individuals. Peace officers may also be armed where public officers such as inspectors are not,” he said.

There are several new provincial laws that seek to lay blame for disease outbreaks in farmed animals on activists.

The Canadian Biosecurity Guideline lists an intentional act of contaminating animals with a disease is considered a possible threat of bioterrorism.

Gregory is a Vancouver-based freelance reporter

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