Hong Kong Immigrants in Vancouver

Essay by UnknownUniversity, Bachelor's April 1996

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This paper is concerned with the recent wave of Hong Kong immigrants into Vancouver. The stage is set for this discussion by first explaining some background behind Canadian immigration policy and then discussing the history of Chinese immigrants in Vancouver. From these discussions we are informed that Canadian immigration policy was historically ethnocentric and only began to change in the late 1960s. It was at this point that we see a more multicultural group of immigrants into our nation. The history of Chinese immigration in Vancouver, and for that matter, Canada is not positive one. The experiences and prejudices which were developed over 100 years ago still colours the way in which we view one another.

The recent wave of Hong Kong immigrants began in the 1970s. This group is different from most others before it because of it's scale and the fact that they tend to be well-educated, affluent people.

The result of their immigration into Vancouver has been a booming economy and social tension. With greater understanding and awareness on both sides we can alleviate the social tensions.


There is a school in Vancouver which is offering a four year immersion programme to its students. That in itself is not highly unusual in our bilingual nation, what is unusual is that the language of choice for the immersion programme is not French, it is Mandarin. The programme was voted in by parents who believed the Mandarin language to be more important to their children's futures in Vancouver than French. This situation shows quite effectively the transition which is taking place in Canada's third largest city. Vancouver is a city which is consistently looking more and more to the Pacific Rim nations, especially Hong Kong, for its economic and social connections.

Vancouver is the most asian Canadian...