VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – An article published by Bloomberg, declaring Vancouver the “Anti-Asian Hate Crime Capital of North America” has been making waves online, but for some people in this city, it comes as no surprise.
Steven Ngo, who is of Asian descent, recently tried to report a hate crime to police in Vancouver and said he faced a number of barriers, including a limited availability of forms to report such cases.
“I was on the phone line for more than 30 minutes, when I tried to report it online. There is no English reporting option and I had to reverse Google translate a form that’s in traditional Chinese into English,” he said.
Based on numbers compiled by Bloomberg, Vancouver had far more reports of anti-Asian incidents than cities like Montreal, New York, Toronto, and Los Angeles last year. Ngo says within the circle of people he knows, this is not a shock at all.
Upon reading the article, Ngo said he felt sad.
“Not sad in the sense that I did not agree with the article. I felt sad that it was true. I was born in Vancouver. I grew up here. My parents immigrated to Vancouver from Vietnam and China. They came here, seeking a better life.”
He says Vancouver has always been a “hotbed for racism throughout history.”
“If you read through the article, it tracks it very well, from the railroad to Japanese internment camps, blaming the Chinese for these rising home prices, to now. This is only one part of a long history that’s deeply rooted in our culture, unfortunately,” he said.
MORE from Steven Ngo: "people are not surprised. Vancouver has always been a hotbed for racism, throughout history, and if you read the article, it tracks it very well, from the railroads to Japanese internment camps, to blaming the Chinese for rising home prices."
— Ria Renouf (@riarenouf) May 7, 2021
Recent statistics from Vancouver police show a more than 700 per cent year-over-year rise in anti-Asian hate.
Ngo, a lawyer, says he’s heard enough talk about the existence of anti-Asian hate in Vancouver. He wants to see it acknowledged as a real problem in our city and action to address it. He feels that starts with making it easy for people to report such crimes.
“My team has already translated the forms into English and other languages. There are cities like Ottawa and Montreal that already have online reporting options in English. There’s no reason why Vancouver cannot do the same,” he said.
He says some of the other options, like the hotline the B.C. government announced this month for reporting incidences of racialized hate, just aren’t doing enough.
-With files from Martin MacMahon