Chinese Apology Legacy Initiatives

July 7, 2014
 
Hon. Teresa Wat
Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism Room 342, Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC V8V 1X4
 
Dear Minister Wat,
 

I was pleased to meet with your staff on April 29, 2014 and to follow up with an additional meeting with Deputy Minister Shannon Baskerville and Executive Lead, Corporate Initiatives and Multiculturalism Division Dean Sekyer regarding the Apology motion made by all Members of the Legislative Assembly to the Chinese Canadian community for historical wrongs. 

Thank you also for your May 14, 2014 letter that acknowledged my concerns regarding the general nature of the recommendations stemming from the Apology motion, and your assurance regarding the general nature of the recommendations, that it required trust and faith on Opposition's part that the government will follow through on its commitments. I appreciate the assurances that the Opposition will be invited to participate in the development and implementation of project plan details and working groups for the Legacy Initiatives.

To that end, I am writing to follow up regarding the next steps on the planning, development and implementation of the following Legacy Initiatives:

1) Education Curriculum Legacy Initiative:  Could you please advise if the project details have been developed in partnership with the Ministry of Education?  If yes, could you please share the information with me?  If not, could you please advise when you expect that work would begin and the timeline to have that work completed?  As well, could you please advise if your Ministry, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, has begun to put together the project team, including the composition of the content expert panel? 

2) Public Education and General Awareness:  I am pleased that your Ministry agrees with my suggestions to utilize post-secondary education institutions to facilitate on-going dialogue and public understanding of historical wrongs.  Could you please advise how will this request be accommodated?

3) Commemorations and Inventory of Artifacts and Historical Sites:  Once again, I am pleased that your Ministry agrees that an inventory is just the first step in preserving and celebrating historical artifacts and sites and that a plan needs to be in place to identify, preserve, store and appropriately use the artifacts and sites. To effectively ensure that this Legacy Initiative is successfully fulfilled, a detailed plan, timeline and budget need to be developed.  This is also true for commemorative monuments.  Could you please advise how your Ministry plans to move forward on this work along with a projected timeline and budget?

4) Clan Association Legacy Initiative:  Again I would like to thank you for acknowledging that this is a worthwhile endeavour and that your Ministry will initiate a needs assessment.  Can you advise if this work has begun and what is the budget allocation for this work? If it has not begun, when will your Ministry undertake to do this work?

For each of these Initiatives, could you please advise what role other Ministries or agencies may play on each initiative and the lead staff person assigned to oversee each Initiative?

I look forward to continuing to work with you in a non-partisan way on these very important and historic projects, and will welcome your reply.

Sincerely, 

Jenny Kwan, MLA
Vancouver-Mount Pleasant