Vancouver city council passes motion calling for apology on Maclean’s "Too Asian?" article

Vancouver city council has joined some campus groups and community organizations in calling for Maclean’s magazine to apologize for its recent article entitled “Too Asian?”

Council passed a motion introduced by Vision Vancouver councillor Kerry Jang Tuesday to support calls for the apology.

The motion, introduced by Vision Vancouver councillor Kerry Jang, also calls for council to “support productive and respectable dialogue” on the role media plays in shaping public perceptions of race and ethnicity, and to “encourage ethical journalistic standards” from all media in articles dealing with race and ethnicity.

“We should be able to talk about any topic, no matter how uncomfortable in this city, but in a way that’s appropriate, in a way that’s respectful and in a way that actually moves us forward as opposed to just evoking emotion and responses, or trying to grab headlines,” Jang said in council Tuesday.

NPA councillor Suzanne Anton called the motion “sheer political opportunism”.

“Are we going to monitor every national publication from now on, every local publication, and make sure they don’t write articles that offend us?” she asked.

The rest of city council voted in support of the motion.

Jang’s motion on notice was one of three on the city council agenda Tuesday. Anton introduced a motion calling for the Freedom of Information and Privacy officer position to be filled, and for staff to be permitted to speak directly to the media on reports.

But council moved for the issue to be referred to city manager Penny Ballem.

A motion will be brought forward by Vision Vancouver councillor Andrea Reimer at Thursday’s council meeting, which calls for the CRTC to reverse a decision that allows usage-based Internet billing.

Members of the public will speak to the motion, including a representative of the group OpenMedia, which has been coordinating a petition against Internet metering.



Ken Lawson

Dec 15, 2010 at 3:56pm

I support the MacLeans article which exposes to canadians what we dislike about our unverisities and colleges "To many foreign students from Kong Kong and China" I do not care if the City of Vancouver passed the motion. We will ask MacLeans not to apologizes to anyone! The problem with our Council we have to many Vancouver Vision members with inflated egos! I do not need to point them out, you know who they are! K L W

Sid Tan

Dec 15, 2010 at 4:41pm

Bravo Kerry Jang and the Vision Vancouver and COPE councillors...


Dec 15, 2010 at 5:33pm

I guess you can't really say how city coucil is wrong and wasting money, because if you disagree with them, you'll be told to shut up and labled a nazi.

People who are against the article didn't even take the time to read all of it, then turn around and tell everyone else how to think. Politically correct people are far more ignorant than those who they claim to despise.

Bring on the marajuana filled negative ratings for this post....


Dec 15, 2010 at 6:16pm

Whether or not you like or dislike this MacLean's article is irrelevant.

The matter at issue here is that this is clearly not the role of Vancouver city council to review and opine on periodicals. This is the difference between practical government and theoretical government. This action did nothing for the people in Vancouver.

With all of the problems in Vancouver, not the least of which is the 4.2% increase in residential property taxes, I am appalled that council finds this item remotely relevant to the day-to-day lives of Vancouverites.

If council has nothing better to do, they should grab some shovels and fill some pot holes.

.Evil Eye

Dec 15, 2010 at 8:20pm

Booooooooooooring. The whole thing is much ado about nothing and Vancouver Council is the centre of nothing.

Who cares? Who reads Macleans? Who listens to Vancouver council? 'Nuff said.


Dec 15, 2010 at 9:08pm

There is nothing wrong with the article. The article speaks the truth like it or not. White Canadians are not going to university. It's a fact.

Truth hurts but it is up to white Canadians to fix this situation

Taxpayers R Us

Dec 15, 2010 at 11:27pm

Why are my goddamn taxes paying for this? Why do I have to work an extra load of hours so that the busybodies in our city council can go and waste their time on something like this?

Why is our city council trying to control what's written in national media?? The topic doesn't matter, this is a complete abuse of office on my dollar.

Scott B.

Dec 16, 2010 at 8:19am

This is a pretty frightening development, though it's good to see that it's only happening on a municipal level. Regardless of what you think of the media, politicians should not take an active role in censuring or condemning it. If Macleans committed a crime (ie. in this case you could sort of make an argument for a hate crime), leave it to the police and legal system to do their job.

We don't have to like what they say, we don't even have to agree with it, but we cannot allow political apparatuses to act as the guardians of social discourse.


Dec 16, 2010 at 12:47pm

Maybe Canada needs to consider "Bending Over Backwards to Suckhole to Ethnic Votes" as an Olympic sport. It's something most of our politicians could compete in with little or no practice, provided they aren't afraid of the height of their sanctimonious high horses. Surely nobody outside of BC takes this ridiculous brouhaha seriously! But to BE serious, my grandfather, who was a printer, was killed in Flanders fighting for other people's human rights and for our own Canadian respect for things such as a free press. I challenge anybody of Asian decent to show me anything that their mother country has done in the past five hundred years to further the cause of human rights. There is certainly nothing comparable to what Canada has done in the past hundred years, and for which Canadians of every ethnic origin have paid very dearly in conflicts all around the world, a history of which we are justifiably proud. I'm a very patient person, but I'm ready to say 'If you don't like what Maclean's has to say as part of our free press, go somewhere where you CAN live cheerfully under a government-controlled press that tells people what they're allowed to think, or better yet, that discourages them from thinking at all'. But then, that's what you wanted to get away from by coming to Canada, wasn't it? Make up your bloody minds! Quit wasting our time with this silliness, and above all quit trying to tell me and other Canadians what we should think.


Dec 16, 2010 at 2:27pm

Vancouver council is acting exactly as I expect a bunch of uniformed lefty little generals to behave. Their election was funded with trust fund money, much of it from the U. S., and have proceeded to make a mess of things, not the least of which being the unused bike lanes and this stupid waste of time. I don't think these lefties will even acknowledge how dangerous it is for any political body to be telling the media to do anything. Imagine the fuss from this same bunch, if a right-of-center council were to condemn some xenophobic nonsense from the Strait?