B.C. legislature biographies obliterate mention of where immigrant ministers were born

This isn't the case for regular NDP MLAs

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      This morning, I noticed an anomaly in the biographies of NDP MLAs on the B.C. legislature website.

      Ordinary members of caucus born outside of Canada routinely mention their country of origin.

      But most members of cabinet's countries of origin were not mentioned if they were born abroad even if it was on the government website.

      I stumbled upon this after writing about the premier's silence over the death of Taiwan's "Mr. Democracy"—Lee Teng-hui.

      Lee oversaw the transformation of Taiwan from a country under martial law to a thriving democracy, becoming the first elected president in 1996.

      There are two Taiwan-born members of cabinet.  

      Citizens' Services Minister Anne Kang moved to Canada as a child.

      Katrina Chen, the minister of state for child care, was also born in Taiwan and moved to Canada to attend Simon Fraser University.

      The biographies of Kang and Chen on the B.C. legislature website make no mention of their Taiwanese roots. They're not alone in this regard.

      The biography of Labour Minister Harry Bains doesn't mention that he was born in India.

      Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena's bio, like that of Kang, states that she moved to Canada, but doesn't say where she was born. Trevena's bio acknowledges that she arrived in the early 1990s as the British Broadcasting Corporation's Canada correspondent.

      That's not the case with others in the NDP caucus.

      For example, the B.C. legislature biography of Jinny Sims, MLA for Surrey-Panorama, states that she was born in Punjab, India, and immigrated to England at the age of nine. Later, she moved to Canada.

      Similarly, Surrey-Fleetwood NDP MLA Jagrup Brar's bio states that he was born in India. As does the biography for Rachna Singh, who represents Surrey–Green Timbers.

      Deputy Speaker Raj Chouhan, also the MLA for Burnaby-Edmonds, reveals in his biography that he immigrated to Canada in 1973 after being involved in student activities in India.

      Esquitmalt-Metchosin NDP MLA Mitzi Dean discloses in her government biography that she grew up in southeast England.

      Federal cabinet ministers—such as Joyce Murray, Ahmed Hussen, and Mary Ng—state in their government biographies that they are immigrants to Canada.

      Is it because Premier John Horgan or someone in his office is afraid of offending the People's Republic of China by merely mentioning that two members of cabinet were born in Taiwan? Or did someone who works at the legislature do this?

      For years, the People's Republic of China has been bullying airlines and other companies into referring to the independent nation of Taiwan as Chinese Taipei.

      That's an abomination to citizens of Taiwan, who rightly argue that they have a completely independent national assembly, their own currency, their own passports, their own national anthem, and their own flag.

      But when there's money at stake in Canada—in the form of tourism, attracting international students, and selling stakes in the oilpatch—all that goes out the window. Sinofascism, in the form of the Chinese Communist Party, carries the day.

      * This article was adjusted to reflect that the anomaly appeared on the B.C. legislature website, not the B.C. government website, as originally reported. 

      * After this article appeared, Katrina Chen informed the Straight that she submitted a new biography to the B.C. legislature in June, omitting a previous mention of Taiwan. She stressed that MLAs submit their own bios to the legislature. 

      * Chow's bio on the legislature page states that he was born in China. Incorrect information appeared previously.

      Comments