Student Rose Wu has written a poignant commentary about how Vancouver’s decade-long challenges with housing affordability has turned into a racial discourse. Her 678-word piece (1) in the online publication, The Tyee, should be compulsory reading for the handful of influential politicians, academics and journalists whose campaign against skyrocketing prices has cast a pall on “Asian-looking people” while downplaying the role of other major factors.
So, how did the Canadian housing story become linked to race? Specifically, what has led to the framing of this narrative as the “Vancouver housing crisis with Chinese characteristics”?
Ms Wu doesn’t need to look far for an explanation. In separate commentaries preceding her July 4 piece, three media professionals and an academic laid out some of the themes of the “Blame the Chinese ” storyline.
Part 1 of this article looks at the comments put forth by local Vancouver journalists Mitchell Anderson and Lynda Steele while part 2 examines the “high brow” arguments offered by Josh Gordon, an assistant professor at the Simon Fraser University (SFU), and Ian Young, the Vancouver correspondent for the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.