But the present is monolithic. As readers here will recall, we believe a people’s past is critical to anchor its present and guide its future. A people who lose control of the former soon find the latter in grave jeopardy. Allow me to define what you were, and soon enough your children will be carrying mine in sedan chairs.
Consider the fact that in living memory America was a thriving 90% white ethno-state while the geography of present day Israel was a fractious majority-Arab scrum. Today postbellum America has always been a constitutionally mandated beacon of multiculturalism standing firm against “white privilege;” while Israel has always been the sacred Jewish homeland. Eventually the past comes in line with the present. And given what the present is evolving toward, the past is going to have many new ideas.
Canada is no exception. The linked story is interesting in that native ‘Canadians’ (those being the Canadians we all think of with pronounced epicanthic folds) are growing incensed about the influx of ‘foreigners’ (it’s quite difficult to write these pieces sans mockery quotes) and the effects upon a now largely unaffordable Vancouver housing market.
After years of watching Vancouver housing prices climb, driven in part by Chinese investment, Eveline Xia came to a painful realization: Despite having a Master’s degree and solid career prospects, she might never be able to afford a home in the city where she grew up.
That didn’t seem right, and so the 29-year-old grabbed a marking pen, hand lettered a sign listing her credentials, snapped a selfie, and posted it to Twitter under the hashtag #DontHave1million.
The tweet went viral, and hundreds of other young Vancouver residents soon began expressing their own frustrations in tweets about the red hot housing market – and the feverish foreign investment they believe has fueled it.
“Average, hardworking Canadian residents are being forced to compete for housing with the global wealthy,” said Xia, who immigrated to Canada from China as child. “People here are getting angry.”
Isn’t it interesting the fluidity of these terms? Let’s review the progression of “average hardworking Canadians.”
We’ve also developed a compilation image of both legacy and new Chinese so that readers may contrast the ongoing demographic evolution of the two countries. See below.
I have a suspicion that the past is going to be much more stable in China than Canada. It may even come to the point where old George Vancouver himself no longer resonates a mystic chord within the souls of his city’s occupants. Though there is absolutely no reason we can imagine why that might be and so…hey wait, where are they taking that statue?
Though let’s return to something a bit more solid, Vancouver’s here and now.
That anger has contributed to a simmering xenophobia in Vancouver, a multicultural coastal city long known for its inclusiveness. With virtually no official data on foreign buyers available, many of those squeezed out of the market are left to believe the worst.
That has residents like Xia pressing the government to track international buyers, scrutinize the source of their funds and tax property speculation, before the anti-Chinese sentiment gets out of hand.
Vancouver is presently 40% Asian, projected to be 50% in 15 years. We don’t want the anti-Chinese sentiment to “get out of hand” until its full colonization is a fait accompli. And then it won’t really matter so much. There’s always a proper way to deal with xenophobia.
Last summer, a small anti-immigration group covered up Chinese symbols on real estate signs in the affluent suburb of West Vancouver with stickers reading “Please Respect Canada’s Official Languages.”
And police are investigating incidents on neighboring Vancouver Island, where anti-Chinese pamphlets appeared in affluent neighborhoods and signs for Chinese real estate agents were defaced with racial epithets and messages like “Go home” and “Not welcome”.
A recent poll found that two-thirds of metropolitan Vancouver residents believe “foreigners investing” is a main cause of high housing costs, and 70 percent said the government should work to improve affordability.
I don’t think these daft local rubes understand the purpose of modern western governments. Hint: it’s not to help you afford a house. Well, not for people who look like those red-coated fascist equestrians at least.
But thankfully taxpayer resources are being well deployed in police investigations of pamphlets. If not quickly apprehended it’s difficult to say how many shoes they might stick to the bottom of. Because xenophobia is the real crime here, not industrial population replacement, which is as natural as a rainbow grizzly bear.
Just imagine you’re a Chinese guy who decides to live in Canada: whose choice is it but yours? Anyway, how the hell are you supposed to know what you’re looking at if everything is written in English gibberish? That’s why we…ummm…Canadians need to have signs in Chinese. Otherwise the place feels like a foreign country. Then add the bigotry of “Please respect our language” and it’s like being shoved into a gas chamber. Finally, who’s this statue of a round-eye supposed to be? Doesn’t look like any of the Vancouverites in my neighborhood.
But not everyone is convinced that Chinese money is primarily responsible for the rise in housing prices, noting that it has also been fueled by interest rates that are near record lows and a tight supply of detached houses.
“The reason why we’re seeing this racialized narrative is people are looking for a scapegoat,” said Victor Wong, the Toronto-based executive director of the Chinese Canadian National Council.
“It’s infected the population,” he added. “People have bought into this narrative that there’s a flood of foreign money into the market when there’s just no evidence beyond a few anecdotes.”
Mr. Wong has put his sedge hat right on the issue. People see millions of Chinese swarming their city along with seven figure median house prices and they just start leaping to wild assumptions. It’s another example of western racial scapegoating. It reminds me of the many American neighborhoods that have been turned into filthy barrios over the last generation. And who got blamed for that? Mexicans. It’s just sad.
But even those who benefit from the housing boom have mixed feelings. At a recent open house in Vancouver, real estate agent Fatemeh Nouripour watched group after group of prospective buyers, most of whom appeared to be from mainland China, trudge through a fixer-upper listed for C$1.58 million.
“As an agent, I want to sell to whoever will pay the most,” Nouripour said. “But I’m also a mother. My daughter has a Master’s degree, she works hard and pays taxes, and she can’t afford to buy because foreigners are parking their money here. How fair is that?”
And isn’t that the rub Fatemah Nouripour? You want to maximize income, but foreigners are colonizing your city. What’s a hardworking Canadian to do?