Skip to Main Content

Alumna Kennes Lin writes about the racist history of Chinese labour in Canada for the Toronto Star


As Labour Day approaches, FIFSW alumna, community social worker, and co-chair of the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter (CCNCTO), Kennes Lin and human rights lawyer Vincent Wong, write about the racist history of Chinese labour in Canada and how it is reflected in anti-Asian racism today.

The opinion piece, published by the Toronto Star, highlights details from a new report from CCNCTO, titled Our Lives are Essential: Chinese Canadian Frontline Workers Pandemic Report, which documents the precarious working conditions and endemic poverty common to Chinese Canadian working class communities.

“Chinese Canadian communities experience conditions of low-income at rates nearly double that of white communities (22.2 per cent to 11.5 per cent), making up the largest population of racialized people living in poverty,” write Lin and Wong.

The authors continue:

Racially-motivated hate is the most obvious manifestation of anti-Asian racism; the tip of the iceberg visible above water. Beneath the surface lies the far more subtle and insidious nature of racialized social and economic exclusion: elevated levels of poverty, racial disparities in employment, underinvestment in working-class communities, reduced access to health and social services, legally-produced immigration status precarity, reduced support for collective bargaining and more pronounced violations of workers’ rights. The hypervisibility of hate crimes and related calls for greater policing stand in stark contrast to the normalized indignities of racialized poverty and labour injustice.

> Click here to read the full article.