Challenging anti-Asian racism at the Cullen Commission

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Dear Friend,

Anti-Asian racism has played a major role in public discourse about money laundering in BC.

There’s a disproportionate focus on money from China in news stories about money laundering. There’s also a strong tendency to conflate foreign money with dirty money.

We’re challenging this harmful and stigmatizing narrative at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in BC, which you can read more about in my latest blog.

At the hearings, we questioned witnesses and obtained evidence on two points that challenged these racist narratives.

First, contrary to popular belief, foreign investment is a not a major factor driving BC’s skyrocketing housing prices. Second, rather than targeting money laundering and foreign ownership, the government should focus on providing subsidized housing. This is what would actually support people living in poverty and experiencing homelessness.

For many years, the BCCLA has focused its attention on holding governments and people in power to account. It’s painfully clear... that conversations and actions taken to combat money laundering have perpetuated harmful stereotypes about immigrants and people of East Asian descent.

This was demonstrated by Professor Henry Yu at the Cullen Commission. He shared critical insight into how anti-Asian racism, white supremacy, and Canada’s immigration laws have shaped our conversations about “dirty money.”

He shared evidence on how Asian people were historically excluded from BC’s real estate market and the real-life impacts of anti-Asian racism in public discourse about money laundering. He also pointed out the irony of BC’s obsession with Chinese money laundering, given that the province is on stolen Indigenous land.

Read my latest blog: Challenging anti-Asian racism at the Cullen Commission

We are one of Canada’s oldest and most steadfast defenders of civil liberties and human rights for all. We know that the work of seeking justice and equality never ends.

The Cullen Commission hearings will end in July 2021. Throughout the inquiry and long after, the BCCLA will continue to fight against racism and for equality. We will work to ensure that racist narratives don’t determine solutions to money laundering.

I hope you will join us in pushing for a future that guarantees civil liberties and human rights for all.

Sincerely,

Jessica Magonet (she/her)
Staff Lawyer (Litigation)

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