So far, there's only a handful of signatures. But an online petition created by a former People's Party of Canada candidate is seeking nothing less than a widespread media repudiation of a 2015 housing study.
Ivan Pak's petition has four other demands, all dealing with Attorney General David Eby. He supplied land-title data in 2015 to the researcher, Andy Yan, who's now the director of the City Program at SFU.
In the 2015 paper, Yan pointed out that two-thirds of the homes in the sample size had been bought by people with non-anglicized Chinese names.
The petition calls on Eby to acknowledge "in no uncertain terms that the study was, and is, flawed, and should never have been published".
In addition, it demands that Eby "repudiate the study's finding as meaningless, incomplete, inconclusive, and erroneous as it was based on a tiny sample size of 172 homes".
Last week at the Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, Eby disclosed that he had "apologized" in an unnamed article for his participation in the study.
This came under cross-examination from B.C. Civil Liberties Association staff lawyer Jessica Magonet. The Straight has asked the Ministry of Attorney General to provide a copy of the article, which hasn't been made available as of this writing.
The online petition also demands that Eby issue an official apology "for his role in supplying the pre-selected data that led to the inevitable conclusion that people with 'non-Anglicized Chinese names' had bought up the bulk of a small neighbourhood in Vancouver West".
In addition, the petition calls on Eby to apologize to the people of Canada "for failing to counter the widespread and prolonged misreporting of the study in the media".
"Sensational stories in the local, national and international media misled the public to the wrong conclusion that Chinese people were and are buying up or had bought up the bulk of Vancouver’s housing," the petition states.
Petition includes links to articles
It claims that Chinese Canadians of varied backgrounds have suffered as a result of being "wrongly blamed" for the housing crisis.
"It has harmed race relations, particularly in Metro Vancouver where nearly 20 percent of the population is of ethnic Chinese background," the petition states. "The vast majority of Metro Vancouver’s Chinese are of working-to-middle class background."
Moreover, the petition claims that the way this study has been covered has "hampered rather than help in the search for affordability solutions through its stoking of xenophobic, Sinophobic, and nativist sentiments".
"It has led to a witchhunt for 'foreign capital' as opposed to 'local capital', with the former being indiscriminately demonized as the main or sole cause of Metro Vancouver’s housing problems," it adds. "Other much more important factors driving the housing markets have been excluded or downplayed, thus preventing politicians, policy makers, and planners from taking an independent and objective approach to tackling the housing challenge."
The petition includes links to the following articles to reinforce its point, suggesting that Eby call on these media outlets to follow his example and apologize:
November 12, 2015. Douglas Todd: There's nothing racist about Metro Vancouver housing study
November 2, 2015. Sam Cooper: Vancouver real estate is a Mainland Chinese buyers' market, study says
November 4, 2015. Ian Young: Ethnic Chinese housing researcher defends work, as Vancouver’s white mayor cries 'racist'
November 3, 2015. Gary Mason: B.C. government must stop hiding from the data on house buyers
February 14, 2018. Terry Glavin: Andy Yan, the analyst who exposed Vancouver's real estate disaster
May 30, 2016. Kerry Gold: Why It’s So Impossible to Buy a Home in Vancouver
March 28, 2019. Sandy James: Duke of Data Andy Yan Was Right All Along About Vancouver Housing Ownership
July 4, 2019. Rose Wu: Vancouver’s ‘Race Estate’ Market Has Hurt Many of Us
Pak ran for the Richmond school board in 2018 with a slate of candidates that opposed SOGI 123, which aims to make schools safer for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
The People's Party of Canada, which is led by Maxime Bernier, came under fire during the 2019 campaign for calling for an end to official multiculturalism and a sharp reduction in immigration.