Vancouver City Councillor Calls For Replacement Of City Coat of Arms To Reflect New Multicultural Vancouver


A Vancouver City Councillor has called upon the City to develop a new coat of arms. The change is supposed to reflect what the councillor believes is the new multicultural diversity of the city. But according to Immigration Watch Canada, the changes would show one more result of unjustifiably-high immigration levels and multicultural policies. They would also foreshadow an even greater marginalization of the local culture and its living space than that which has occurred over the last 15 years.

Vancouver’s current coat of arms features a logger on the left holding an axe and a fisherman on the right holding a net. These characters symbolize Vancouver’s original industries. Between them from top to bottom are a ship (symbolizing Vacouver’s location and status as a seaport); a mantle; a knight’s helmet; a totem pole (symbolizing the area’s First Nations’ Heritage), and a shield decorated with the province’s floral emblem (the dogwood) and waves. At the bottom is Vancouver’s motto, “By Land, Sea and Air We Prosper.” The Coat of Arms was authorized in 1903 and was modified slightly in 1969.

“The logical end of high immigration and multiculturalism is to erase and replace the long-term residents and the things that the local people have developed,” says Dan Murray of Immigration Watch Canada. “The councillor’s proposal is symbolic. She believes in multiculturalism. Multiculturalism favours the retention of immigrant traditions beside the receiving culture’s traditions. This false equality creates conflict between the host and recipient. The focus placed on the newly-arrived soon marginalizes the local culture’s traditions, history and the past. In effect, multiculturalism erases time. It treats an area such as Vancouver as a place where everyone has just arrived. It deceitfully presents itself in positive terms. It pretends that the long-term residents and the newcomers are just beginning a settlement. It contemptuously dismisses the ancient claim that long-term residents have to the area they live in.

“Her proposal for a new coat of arms is like waving a white flag of surrender to Canada’s immigration industry. A local broadcaster has used the statement, ‘Everything is up for grabs’ to describe the possible changing of the coat of arms. As other critics have said, she implies that the Vancouver (and Canada) that existed before mass immigration and multiculturalism was an acultural abyss. She actually makes her proposal proudly and seriously.”

Every year over the past 15 years, Canada’s federal government has brought close to 40,000 immigrants to Greater Vancouver directly from offshore. Another large number migrate here after landing in the Greater Toronto area. Immigrants (mostly recent) now compose almost half of Greater Vancouver’s population. Critics have repeatedly pointed out that many of these people have great difficulty in integrating and that multicultural policies encourage them not to do so.

“Canada has a long and proud history of nationalists from both the left and right sides of the political spectrum. This councillor is on the left and would probably claim to represent nationalist interests on most issues. But like other nationalists on both the right and left, she does not want to see the immigration issue as a nationalist matter. All of them have to ask themselves, ‘Shouldn’t elected officials give priority to the cultural, environmental and economic interests of the country’s own long-term residents?’ She should not be asking, “How many more hundreds of thousands do you want us to take?’ Unless she redeems herself, long-term residents should treat her in upcoming elections with the same disdain that she has shown to them with her proposal. ”

Population statistics reveal that it took roughly 130 years (B.C.’s Gold Rush starting in 1858 to the beginning of mass immigration policies in the early 1990’s) for Greater Vancouver’s population to reach 1.3 million. It has taken just another 15 years for the area’s population to pass 2.2 million. It is predicted that the area’s population will almost double to over 4 million in another 20 to 25 years. The dramatic increase in population growth over the last 15 years has been largely caused by immigration. Future increases will also be driven by immigration.

B.C. historians have long recognized the great importance of resource industries (such as the logging and fishing depicted in Vancouver’s coat of arms) to the economies of both rural and urban areas. Recently, business interests have warned of the disappearance of core industries in the Vancouver area. They contend that these industries are vital to the local economy. The land once occupied by these industries has been converted into housing.