A case of alleged blatant reverse racism has caused a major public furor in the Greater Vancouver area. Long-ignored by many in the media, but long-endured by many in Canada's host population, reverse racism has struck lease-holders in a 12-business strip mall in Surrey, British Columbia.
The strip mall was purchased in late July by H-Mart, a Korean grocery business catering to Korean immigrant shoppers. Three long-term businesses, which have been in the mall from 10 to 25 years, have been told to move—-allegedly to make way for Korean businesses .
John Pook of Peter Pook Insurance, which has been in business for 50 years and has operated in the mall for 25 years, was shocked when he was told he had to vacate within three months. The Province, a B.C. daily, quotes Mr Pook as saying: “I had a verbal agreement with the previous owner and I just expected we would be staying. They're making this into an Asian shopping plaza and I guess we don't fit the bill.”
Rose Farrell, owner of Colour Tech II Hair Studio, has also been forced to move. She has been in the mall for 10 years. Ms. Farrell had done extensive renovations to her shop, but the terms of her lease state that she must leave fixtures such as expensive sinks in the shop when she leaves.
Ms. Farrell learned today that the mall owners are trying to discredit her protests by saying that she was late in paying her last month's rent. She fears that this tactic will lessen her chance to find a new location.
A third lease-holder, Ms. Lynn Wallace, owner of Frames West (a picture framing store), has said that in order to stay at her location, she offered to hire a Korean salesperson and to display Asian art work. Ms. Wallace has also said that she took the very unusual step of offering to pay the new mall owners $100,000 in advance rent (to 2009), but the owners refused.
Mr. Pook has said that he too would have been willing to pay more to remain in the location.
Both Mr. Pook and Ms. Farrell have said that the decision to evict them is not business-based, as the new owner is claiming, but race-based.
Ms. Wallace, who has been at the strip-mall location for 24 years, has characterized the treatment she has received from the new owner as “unfair”. Her greatest fear is that the new owners will put an Asian frame shop into her current location, that her present customers might not notice and that her old customers might transfer their business to the new Asian owners.
Ms. Wallace has found a new location, but will have to invest $25,000 to $30,000 to bring the new premises up to her current shop's standards.
Mr. Pook has said he has found a new location around the corner, but Ms. Farrell has not yet found a new place for her business.
The termination of the leases are galling to all three lease-holders. Mr. Pook has heard that a Korean-owned insurance business will move into the space he vacates. Ms. Farrell has been told by an informed realtor that a Korean-owned hair stylist business has been recruited to replace her business in the mall and that the new tenant will inherit the equipment she is obligated to leave behind. Ms. Wallace has been told that a Korean framing business will move into her current location.
Several of the other eight lease-holders in the mall are Korean. The leases for the remaining non-Korean businesses in the mall have not come up for renewal. However, one of the evicted lease-holders has said that the leases of the non-Korean businesses will probaly not be renewed and that the owners' plan is to make the strip mall all Korean.
Adam Frizell, the broker who oversaw the deal, has confirmed the speculation. He is quoted in The Province newspaper as saying that H-Mart “hopes to lease out some of the buildings to 'complementary businesses of an Asian nature' “. Ironically, Mr. Frizell told Ms. Farrell today that he had been fired and replaced by an Asian broker.
It is speculated that Mr. Frizell's frank revelations to the press about the owners' future intentions were the reason for his firing.
As critics have said, Canada's immigration industry has repeatedly used the racial discrimination issue to promote its pro-mass immigration stand and to stifle resistance to the arrival of several million people, most of whom Canada did not need. As a result, too little opposition has been expressed to Canada's immigration policy and to clear cases of reverse discrimination.
Other critics have stated that Canada's mass immigration policy has turned into reverse colonization. They explain that rising numbers of recent immigrants, especially those from a few groups, have been encouraged to feel that they (and a potential flood of other new immigrants) have a right to be here and that Canada has an obligation to take them. Canada's multicultural policy has also supported them in forming their own enclaves such as the potential all- Korean shopping mall. This policy has also bluntly told Canada's host population that it is obligated to keep quiet.
Canada's federal government has paid little attention to reverse discrimination and to other cultural consequences of allowing such large numbers of immigrants into Canada.
A recent poll by The Globe and Mail should stir them (and opposition party supporters) from their immigration slumber. In response to the question, “Do you think Canada allows the right number of immigrants into the country each year?”, 62% (18,673 of 30,358 respondents) said that Canada was taking too many.
Critics have repeatedly said that if all Canadians were aware of the realities of Canada's mass immigration policy, Canada would see a widespread revolt.
Mr. Pook has seen a fragment of Canadians' reaction to a greater awareness of the country's immigration reality. Both he and other Canadians were angered by the treatment he received, but he has taken some solace from the wave of public indignation and sympathy that has been expressed to him and the two other lease-holders.
But solace is not enough.
Canada's immigration minister should take careful note of this incident and dozens of other similar occurrences.
They are all microcosms of the larger problem in the entire country. For example, it is no exaggeration to say that mass immigration and multiculturalism have bred an arrogance among a number of recent arrivals towards the host population. Second, the displacement of the mall lease-holders is a fraction of the displacement which has occurred often in the major immigrant-receiving areas in the country. Third, the use by the recruited Korean businesses of the developed infrastructure in two of the shops is typical of the use that displacers have made on other occasions.
One of the vital things our immigration minister can do to demonstrate his new awareness is to make major reductions to Canada's current immigration intake.
Most Canadians will accept some immigration. However, Canada has not needed anything near the 225,000 to 260,000 immigrants every year over the past 15 years and it certainly does not need those same numbers over the next 15 years.
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