Richmond residents outraged because they can't read Chinese signs

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      You know how some people will complain if there's anybody speaking Chinese (they usually can't tell the difference between Cantonese and Mandarin) on the bus? Well, there's apparently 1,000 of these "totally not racist" people living in Richmond.

      Local residents Kerry Starchuk and Ann Merdinyan have managed to gather that many signatures on a petition asking Richmond council to take action that would limit the amount of Chinese characters on signs in the city. According to the Richmond News, the pair plan to make a presentation to city hall on Monday (March 18).

      For Starchuk, it's all purportedly about "increasing racial harmony". This from someone who reportedly refuses to use the northern part of No. 3 Road because of all the Chinese signs there.

      Indeed, the following quote from Starchuk is so ironic it's almost funny:

      If this is our Canadian identity, then it’s not very inclusive is it?

      This is not cultural harmony because I have no idea what these signs, advertising and the real estate papers are saying.

      We value Richmond and we value our Canadian identity and I hope that comes across with our presentation.

      Starchuk told the Richmond News she's approached councillors before and didn't get anywhere. They want Richmond to require 70 percent of any sign in the city to carry English and/or French (similar to the Aberdeen Centre's private policy for its stores).

      Let's hope city council says 再见 to Starchuk and Merdinyan and sends them away disappointed.



      Makes sense to me.

      Mar 15, 2013 at 3:45pm

      Every immigrant should AT LEAST integrate into their adopted society to ensure cohesion is maintained.

      Ken Lawson

      Mar 15, 2013 at 3:46pm

      Do not be surprised if this gets much bigger politcians are about to lose their jobs at every level if Canadians do not get there way


      Mar 15, 2013 at 3:49pm

      sad day when this paper allows space for mr. hui to call those folks in richmond racist simply because they want to be able to read the sign on no. 3 road.

      Sum yung gui

      Mar 15, 2013 at 3:53pm

      This is Canada you idiot "fuck you" too,Charlie chan


      Mar 15, 2013 at 3:56pm

      By the sounds of it Stephen Hui is "totally not racist" as well.

      John Yang

      Mar 15, 2013 at 4:05pm

      What you don't seem to realize Mr. Hui, is that Starchuk's ancestors were persecuted before they came to Canada. All Ukranians had to learn to speak english, and whether or not they opened a business, their skills had to take on the culture of the country that embraced them as immigrants.

      Your typical asian arrogance and aggresiveness is obvious in your sarcastic remarks. To say nothing of the obvious strain that the asian influx has placed on Canada's resources.

      What you are obviously unaware of is how the historical sense of fairness of native born canadians is confronted with the in-your-face attitudes of rich spoiled asian students who are loud and obnoxious and don't give a crap about the country or rules of the land they study in regardless of where that happens to be.

      30 years ago there was very little in the way of asian gangs, bullies, and the total disregard for littering, spitting in public, and all the other quaint cultural issues that we can thank most of our asian and eurasian immigrants for introducing us to.

      Granted many injustices were perpetrated on my asian ancestors who worked on the CPR at the turn of the 20th century, but so too did most European immigrants suffer especially Ukranians under the corrupt conglomerates and bosses of that time.

      Lastly, all the sabre-rattling that China has been doing lately with countries and cultures it doesn't approve of or wants to simply assimilate (Yugurs, Tibetans, Japanese, etc...) doesn't make canadians any more tolerant of asians blowing off the need to learn english and act according to the customs of this country.

      My grand parents and my wife's parents (Ukranian) both learned English immediately upon arriving in Canada, this is something that our most recent arrivals could care-less about accomplishing.

      My wife was recently confronted by an asian (Chinese-Mandarin) woman who swore at her, called her stupid, and claimed that there was nothing she could say to stop her or her friends, because as she put it; "...we are taking over just like we have everywhere else. We have the money, you don't, you're stupid Canadians."

      So, is it really any wonder that all the horn honking, angry yelling immigrants have made a bad name for us all?

      Not really, the law of the land is English, the custom of the land is english, so, make the signs readable, stop selling shark fins, get with it.


      Mar 15, 2013 at 4:10pm

      One question is, if the sign has English and Chinese on it.
      Would she go there and do any business there anyways?
      If it was a Asian hair salon, I don't think she would get her hair done there.

      A Visible Minority

      Mar 15, 2013 at 4:13pm

      I don't necessarily think it is ?racist? to want English on signs. I think we should accommodate the main demographic, and if its Chinese, then sure, there's no problem with Chinese signs. However, I think the issue here isn't the fact that there are signs that are Chinese, but that there is no English on them. English and French are our national languages, and should be on all?or at least most?signs in Canada. The same applies for any country. The national language is the national language. Accommodations should be made accordingly for a certain area?s demographic, but it?s not racist to ask for English on signs when the national language is English.

      Carolyn Yu

      Mar 15, 2013 at 4:23pm

      The sign in the article says "We can speak China". Now you know.

      Jimmy Chan

      Mar 15, 2013 at 4:26pm

      Articles like this get under my skin. You are entitled to your opinion, but I'm here to tell you it's wrong. This is not an us against them mentality. If you were a proud Canadian, you would be behind these people, instead of calling them racists. Being half chinese, english only speaking, PROUD Canadian, I am fully in support of some sort of bylaw that requires signage to have at least the english equivalent written on it. The point of becoming Canadian is to adopt the language and Canadian culture, not treat the city as some sort of inclusive asian-only club. If you do not see how this would increase racial harmony, you are blind my friend. Perhaps you should drive through Richmond, and for once, pretend you have no ideas what the signs say. How would that make you feel? welcome? would that make you feel Canadian? Last time I checked our official languages are English and French.