Être Chinois au Québec – Role Models

Upon reviewing the rushes of our road trip through Québec, there are certain people that stand out as role models in the Sino-Québécois community.

Ms. Xiang Ma was a professor in a university in China when she decided to immigrate to Canada. She is one of the leaders of the Chinese Calego workers who confronted the employer when he accused the Chinese workers in the factory as being dirty and eating like pigs. Ms. Ma along with Mr. Yong Shan He led a walkout and filed a complaint with the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse. As a result of their united struggle and determination, the Human Rights Tribunal awarded 15 workers of Chinese origin $150,000 for moral and punitive damages (see earlier posting, 6 septembre). Mr. He was physically assaulted for his leadership role but he was not intimidated and he was awarded additional compensation by the Tribunal as a result.

Ms. Ma now operates a dry cleaning establishment and Mr. He, an engineer in China, is now working in another factory as a computer numerical control machine operator. Both Ms. Ma and Mr. He believe that workers, especially minorities, should stick together and oppose any form of discrimination. As recent immigrants, they are determined to stand up for their rights and make a good life for themselves and their families here. Their struggle for justice united the Chinese community behind them. They set a good example for Chinese and other minorities to fight against discrimination.

Walter Tom was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Quebec City. He graduated from Laval Law School but he was not able to get a job in his profession there and he was forced to move to Montréal. When asked what it is like to be Chinese in Québec, his one word answer is “Tough. But it was even tougher for my father and grandfather.” Lire la suite