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Old September 2nd, 2009, 07:58 AM   #1
Haoting
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The Chinese are Leaving Canada Behind

The Maclean's article is a bit dated, but still very relevant. This is a must-read for those talented and/or wealthy Asians thinking about immigrating to Canada. So, don't say that nobody warned you about the risks of moving to Canada.

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Leaving Canada behind
The Canadian diaspora in Asia: an opportunity slowly slipping away

ANDREA MANDEL-CAMPBELL | Apr 9, 2007 |

Admittedly, the nondescript headquarters of the world's largest publicly listed Chinese fast-food chain isn't easy to find, hidden deep in Hong Kong's industrial hinterland. Still, it's hard to miss its public face, Café de Coral, a franchise with 300 restaurants in Hong Kong and mainland China, as well as the Manchu Wok chain in North America. It should be an obvious target for the Canadian food industry, especially since the chairman is, in fact, a Canuck. But aside from buying the odd pig knuckle from Canadian hog producers, Michael Chan, a University of Manitoba grad and former Edmonton urban planner, says he hasn't heard hide nor hair from his compatriots. "We would be a natural partner," says the Hong Kong-born Chan. "But for some reason there are hardly any strong business ties with Canada."


Café de Coral, when pronounced in Chinese, actually means "come together." Yet it's indicative of a yawning gulf between Canada and a potentially powerful diaspora that could be an ideal springboard into the booming Chinese market, but has instead become a byword for missed opportunity. While Ottawa has no idea how many Canadians live abroad, the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada calculates there are 2.7 million overseas passport holders, equivalent to nine per cent of Canada's population. Proportionally, it's the world's fourth largest diaspora -- outpacing even China and India -- and includes some of Asia's wealthiest and most influential business people. Yet they are at best overlooked and at worst distrusted, a casualty of Canada's perennial inability to globalize its economy.

Hong Kong, the mountainous archipelago known for its typhoons and tycoons, is a case in point. An estimated 200,000 to 300,000 Canadians make up the enclave's single largest contingent of foreign passport holders and Canada's largest diaspora outside the U.S. Their ranks read like a who's who of Hong Kong's rich and powerful: from Victor Li, scion of Li Ka-shing, one of the world's richest men, to the family of fellow real estate and jewellery tycoon, Cheng Yu-Tung. In neighbouring Macau, the son of Stanley Ho, known as "the king of gambling" and the island's richest man, is also a citizen, while Edmund Ho, Macau's chief executive, is an alumnus of York University. "How many countries have such a proportion of citizens living overseas in such positions of influence?" notes David Fung, a Hong Kong-born Vancouver entrepreneur. "Yet we don't manage to use them to any significant extent."

Take Café de Coral. The chain sources its food globally, importing eggs from the U.S. and beef from Australia, but the Canadian meat processors are not only uncompetitive, says Chan, but unwilling to tailor their product to Asian cuts. "I lived in Alberta, I know the industry," he says. "But for some reason they don't see the world as their market." Companies from around the world have pitched joint food processing ventures to the chain, adds Chan, "but I've hardly ever heard of a Canadian company coming to us."

And when the diaspora comes calling, the reception is often cool. It's no coincidence, say some, that Li Ka-shing sold his five per cent stake in CIBC, only to team up with Merrill Lynch months later to invest in the Bank of China. Son Victor, who headed up the family's Canadian subsidiary, Husky Energy, tried to buy Air Canada, but the bankrupt airliner paired up with an American suitor instead. Now, Canada is looking to build the Pacific Gateway infrastructure project aimed at bulking up trade between Canada and China, yet the Lis' Hutchison Whampoa, the world's largest port operator, is absent from British Columbia. "You have to wonder why Victor Li failed," says Don DeVoretz, an immigration specialist at Simon Fraser University. "What blockages do we put in front of these people?"

To many diaspora Chinese the answer is pretty obvious: they are not considered true Canadians. It is in many ways a reflection of Canada's deep ambivalence towards China, amplified recently by the Harper government's showdown with Beijing over human rights and its plans to review investments by Chinese state-owned companies. "Canada is ambivalent at a very, very senior level," says an individual familiar with the situation who has worked with both Liberal and Conservative governments. "This is not a populist versus establishment view. It's a broad Canadian fault line -- at every level and on all sides of the equation."

For some, that ambivalence is, at least, partly earned. Many Hong Kong passport holders see Canada as at best a weigh station for picking up an education and language training, and at worst a "jail," where they serve a three-year sentence in return for an extra passport and access to free health care. While wives live in McMansions around Vancouver, husbands working in Hong Kong claim poverty-level incomes in Canada to avoid the taxman. "They think Canadians are suckers," says Patrick Chun, a Hong Kong-born Vancouverite. "There's no loyalty to Canada. Why in the world would we want to give people like that Canadian passports?"

It's a question that's coming up more and more as immigrants, new and old, many of them from mainland China, are leaving to join the diaspora. Often it's because they simply can't find opportunities in Canada, but the question remains: isn't there some way this exodus could be used to Canada's advantage? After last summer's Israel-Lebanon war, which cost Ottawa at least $94 million to evacuate 15,000 passport holders, Ottawa is reviewing Canada's dual citizenship policy to find out. One thing is for sure, says Amy Wong, who moved to Vancouver at the age of 6, and at 24 is back in Hong Kong working for U.S. media outlet Bloomberg: "Canada loses more than it gains."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It's hard to imagine why anybody wouldn't welcome Alex Sun with open arms. The statuesque beauty from Shanghai first immigrated to Canada a decade ago. A former public relations executive with an M.B.A. from Wilfrid Laurier University and a stockbroker's licence, she expected to get "big-time offers." But other than overtures from New York, none materialized. "I worked on Bay Street for years and nobody ever returned my phone calls," says Sun, 35, on a stopover in Shanghai between trips to New York and London. "It's a very small club and they are not that accepting of outsiders."

She eventually ended up at Research Capital, a small Canadian brokerage. Chinese companies were constantly filing through its Toronto office looking for financing in Canada, and Sun realized she could parlay her Chinese contacts into business for Bay Street. But China was too risky for the firm and Sun ended up leaving at the end of 2005. "They had something so fantastic right there, but they didn't want to do anything about it," she says. Sun struck out on her own, advising Chinese companies looking for overseas funding and institutional investors interested in breaking into the Chinese market. Now she's consulting for a Chinese-based telecom company listed in the U.S., and recently helped broker the country's first private equity deal. She has yet to bring a deal to Toronto. "I have to tell the Chinese that London and New York are better markets for them," Sun says. "There isn't a great critical mass and the brokerage firms and banks(in Canada)are way too conservative."

As Sun sips a fusion tea at one of Shanghai's trendy cafés, she acknowledges that it's U.S.-sourced deals that are paying the bills. "Sadly, my business activity has nothing to do with Toronto. It's a place to live." And probably not for much longer. She's working on some equity financing deals for Goldman Sachs in China and is scouting New York apartments. "Canadians are just content to do the same thing with the same people," she says. "I don't know what can motivate them. They are the most complacent people in the world."

Richard Liu is all too familiar with Canadian complacency. It's what finally drove him to abandon the country in 1999 despite storied family ties. Liu's uncle was China's first ambassador to Canada in the 1940s, and Liu kept up the tradition of promoting bilateral relations -- engineering the first twinning of a Canadian and Chinese city -- Victoria and Suzhou -- in 1980, and organizing countless cultural events. Yet Liu, a Shanghai-born polyglot fluent in Spanish and Italian who immigrated to Canada in 1969, felt his efforts were never truly embraced. "I'm fed up with Canada," he says with palpable frustration. "It just made me feel so useless -- whatever I suggested, there was never any response."

The final straw for Liu came after being named director of the Canadian Tourism Commission in Beijing in 2000. To supplement the federal agency's shoestring budget, Liu shelled out more than $1,000 a month from his own pocket to wine and dine Chinese officials. But it paid off: within months he'd secured a promise from the head of China's tourism bureau -- a personal friend of Liu's for 20 years -- that Canada would be awarded "approved destination status," opening the floodgates to millions of Chinese tourists. At the time, Australia was the only Western country with the mantle.

Liu went back to Ottawa with plans for a 200-person party to celebrate. The CTC balked and told him he could invite 50 -- a cheap gesture in a country where everything is done on an imperial scale. This "small thinking," as Liu calls it, was reinforced by immigration officials at the embassy who argued that Canada could just wait for the U.S. to secure ADS and then siphon off some of their Chinese tourists for trips to Niagara Falls. Liu was amazed -- Canada was choosing to pass up an opportunity to cash in on its unrivalled reputation in China. "I wanted Canada to eat the main course for once," he says. "They wanted to eat leftovers."

Liu left the CTC in 2004, but stayed on in Beijing to run a cultural consultancy. "I put a lot of effort to support Canada and in the end I came back here. Why? Because I can do more here and the Chinese appreciate what I do," says Liu, whose clients come from just about every country -- except Canada. "Canadians like me never get business from Canada -- I'm Chinese and they don't trust me," he says. "I'm doing very good business -- with Americans, Europeans, Africans -- but I should be doing this business with Canada."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
John Yuen has the classic good looks and well-toned body of a college athlete. He'd rather crunch bones on a rugby pitch than window-shop in a Hong Kong mall -- a love of sports he attributes to his school years at Upper Canada College in Toronto, where he immigrated at the age of 6. But though Yuen spent his formative years in Canada, he says that if he were competing at the Olympics, he's not sure which country he'd represent. "I want to say Canada, but apart from being educated and growing up there for a time, there's not much of a connection," says the 30-year-old. "I wouldn't call it home."

While Canadians observed with indifference as the wave of Hong Kong immigrants that washed ashore in the late 1980s inevitably flowed back home a decade later, Yuen is indicative of a more worrisome trend: a second generation of Chinese immigrants with little affinity for the country that raised them. Instead, their Western education and cross-cultural skills are building the global stature of Hong Kong and Shanghai, with no benefit to Canada. "The older generation is already a writeoff," admits Amy Wong, whose seven aunts and uncles have already come to Canada and gone. "The lingering question is the younger generation."


Wong moved to a Vancouver suburb when she was 6, and unlike most of her Hong Kong friends who lived "in their own little world," she actually had non-Asian friends. Still, the 24-year-old, who scrapes by in Hong Kong sharing a one-room apartment with her aunt, is coldly dismissive of Canada. "I really don't have an identity," says Wong, who returned to Hong Kong after graduating from Simon Fraser University two years ago. "I don't say I'm Canadian. It's just a passport."

Many Chinese immigrants say Canada failed to imbue a sense of national identity, and also failed to capitalize on their skills. John Yuen's dad was the Asia Pacific regional manager for jewellery giant Cartier, yet he couldn't get a job interview when he came to Canada. He ended up introducing the Timberland franchise to Hong Kong, becoming the retailer's sole agent there. "My father hates Canada," says Yuen, quickly adding, "at the same time he's very grateful. It's a love-hate thing. But he hasn't made any money in Canada." That sense of alienation is now trickling down to the next generation, which sees their skills similarly unappreciated and their opportunities stunted.

Amy Wong speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, French and English. "I wouldn't be able to find a job that would value those skills in Vancouver," she says. "In fact, they'd screen you out because of it." In Hong Kong, every language is a bonus, and foreign multinationals are constantly looking for overseas-educated returnees. "In Hong Kong, the opportunities are everywhere," says Wong. "In Vancouver, you're stuck and you're very, very lucky if you get a few positions in the public sector."


Yuen, who works at the Hong Kong office of U.S. Internet giant eBay, agrees. "Canada trained me, taught me almost everything I know about sports and education, yet I don't think I owe it that much of a favour to say I'm Canadian. It feels like Canada hasn't given me anything. At least Hong Kong gave me a career and chances to succeed."

As a result, the cream of the crop leave Canada while Canadian companies continually bypass immigrant bridges into the Chinese market.
Tim Hortons has turned down overtures from Chinese Canadians to move into the Middle Kingdom, where Starbucks enjoys unrivalled success. Canadian Tire, despite efforts by its Chinese employees, has also balked. "The Shanghai government was begging them to come," said an individual familiar with the situation. "But they're happier to sort of dominate the home market." There are two Chinese-based forestry firms listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, but neither has heard from Canada's struggling forestry sector. "I've been surprised we've never been approached," concedes Allen Chan, chairman of Sino-Forest Corp., the largest foreign-owned plantation operator in China. The company has been courted by Chileans, Brazilians and Americans, says Chan, but "I don't see any conscious effort [by Canadians] to identify the market."

Not surprisingly, Canada is seen as a peaceable place to retire or raise kids, but no beacon of business. It is left reaping many of the negatives of a wide-open immigration policy, and little reward. "I don't see any benefits to having a large diaspora," says SFU's DeVoretz, who argues an ever-growing expat community devalues the Canadian passport and raises security concerns. Canada also faces a potentially "huge crisis" when elderly passport holders suddenly remember their citizenship, warns Robert Zweig, director of the Center on China's Transnational Relations at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. "All these people have the right to come back to Canada," says Zweig. "Do you know how much it costs to die?"

Canada needs to ensure better integration and more commitment from prospective newcomers, say experts. Suggestions include upping the three-year residency requirement and charging returnees health care premiums. Canada should also reform the tax system, which encourages the diaspora to cut ties with Canada, in favour of a U.S.-style tax on worldwide income. But most importantly, Canada needs to see its diaspora as a resource rather than a writeoff, says Zweig.

Rick Hui would seem to be a perfect case in point. He taps his fingers to a Beatles tune as he manoeuvres his silver BMW from his sumptuous restaurant in downtown Beijing to his 100-room Comfort Inn hotel, a few very long blocks away. He's come a long way since graduating from hotel management at Toronto's Ryerson University in 1979 and opening his first hotel in Hinton, Alta. With exclusive rights to the U.S. hotel franchise for northern China, Hui plans to open 25 Comfort Inns across the country by 2010.

A Hong Kong native who immigrated to Canada in 1970 at 19, Hui encourages his fellow Canadians to make the move to China, but it's tough. Canadian chains like Delta and Sandman Hotels are nowhere to be seen, and while Hui brings over Canadian hospitality students to train at his hotel, it's impossible to source wallpaper or furnishings from Canadian companies without a local Chinese presence. "If I know of a Canadian manufacturer, I would try to use them, but I don't get a whole lot of connection," says Hui, who just sold his Vancouver restaurant, the Pink Pearl. "It's been very exciting," he says with a smile. "I just wish I could see more Canadians doing the same or even bigger things."

http://www.macleans.ca/article.jsp?c..._104114_104114

Last edited by Haoting; November 10th, 2009 at 06:53 AM.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 02:48 AM   #2
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hmm, I didn't know Canada had such problems with its Chinese population. In the US most Chinese seem content since they are more rooted in the country and there is a positive view of Asians in most places, of course most American-born Chinese don't even have a good knowledge of the Chinese language and aren't culturally Chinese at all. So both ways have their good and bad points.
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Old September 4th, 2009, 05:39 AM   #3
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我以前也是一个香蕉, 但是我知道我很幸运因为我在加拿大出生长大。

This is what Wikipedia says about Asian-Americans:

Study has indicated that most non-Asian Americans do not generally differentiate between Asian Americans and Chinese Americans. Stereotypes of both groups are nearly identical.[73]

A 2002 survey of Americans' attitudes toward Asian Americans and Chinese Americans indicated that 24% of the respondents disapprove of intermarriage with an Asian American, second only to African Americans;

23% would be uncomfortable supporting an Asian-American presidential candidate, compared to 15% for an African American, 14% for a woman and 11% for a Jew;

17% would be upset if a substantial number of Asian Americans moved into their neighborhood;

68% had somewhat or very negative attitude toward Chinese Americans in general.[74]

The study did find several positive perceptions of Chinese Americans: strong family values (91%); honesty as business people (77%); high value on education (67%).[73]

Most of the people who responded negatively to Asian Americans lived in the Southern United States and parts of the Midwestern United States.[73]

There is a widespread perception that Asian Americans are not "American" but are instead "perpetual foreigners".[74][75] Asian Americans often report being asked the question, "Where are you really from?" by other Americans, regardless of how long they or their ancestors have lived in United States.

Many Asian Americans are themselves not immigrants but rather born in the United States. Many are asked if they are Chinese or Japanese, an assumption based on major groups of past immigrants.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_American

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Old September 4th, 2009, 07:03 AM   #4
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Haoting, you seem to think similarly to the people interviewed for this article. If you think this way, good luck on getting out of the country as soon as possible. I was also a "banana" before and although that is no longer the case for me, I also feel very lucky to be living in Canada. I have never experienced any barrier to opportunity in Canada and have had many managers who are also Chinese.

No matter where you go in this world, opportunities rarely come to you freely without hard work or connections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haoting View Post
"I have to tell the Chinese that London and New York are better markets for them," Sun says. "There isn't a great critical mass and the brokerage firms and banks(in Canada)are way too conservative."
Oh the irony of this statement now....

Being conservative is exactly why Canada has one of the most stable banking systems in the world. How many financial institutions failed in the UK and the US? How many banking failures occurred in Canada? Zero. Sometimes it is not always advantageous to strive for "greener" pastures.... take on greater risk and sometimes you pay for it.

The Canadian federal government has for many years ignored China as a major trading partner, this is because the demand from the US market has always been great. This reliance on the US has resulted in dire consequences, with GDP shrinkage in Canada being greater in the recent quarter than any other G7 nation. Slowly this reliance is beginning to wane and there is more encouraging news that Canada is moving away from the US.

Quote:
Fairfax enters Chinese market

Canadian company will spend $66-million for 15 per cent stake in Shanghai-based Alltrust Insurance

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (FFH-T372.181.570.42%) is making its first foray into China with the purchase of a 15 per cent stake in Alltrust Insurance Co. of China for about $66-million (U.S.).
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...rticle1270943/


Quote:
Flaherty touts Canada's banks on Chinese visit

Ottawa — The Canadian Press Last updated on Monday, Aug. 10, 2009 11:28AM EDT


Mr. Flaherty told reporters from Beijing he hopes his visit will spur Chinese investment in Canada's resource and financial service sectors.

“What we're trying to do is show off the Canadian financial institutions so that they will be even more welcomed and accepted by the authorities in China,” he said Monday.

The China trip – Mr. Flaherty's second as finance minister – is meant to court the country's coveted market as exports slow to the United States, Canada's largest trading partner.

“China has a need for resources. China has . . . substantial U.S. dollar cash reserves,” Mr. Flaherty said. “China is looking for investments abroad, Commercial investments, subject to proper governance, are welcomed in Canada.

“I think, over time, we will see more investment by Chinese businesses in Canada. I think, over time, we'll also see growth by our financial institutions in this market, which is just a terrific prospective market for our banks and insurance companies based in Canada that operate globally.”

Mr. Flaherty has met China's vice-premier, finance minister and the chair of the country's National Development Reform Commission since arriving on the weekend.

Accompanying the finance minister on the trip are Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney and other key government officials and financial executives from Canada's major banks.

They include representatives from the Bank of Nova Scotia, the Bank of Montreal, the Royal Bank of Canada, TD Canada Trust and CIBC, along with officials from Manulife Financial, Sun Life Financial and TMX Group.

It's the largest Canadian business delegation to China in years.

Relations between Ottawa and Beijing were seriously strained after the Conservatives took office in 2006 following a series of statements and policy moves that rankled the Chinese.

Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama had been named an honorary Canadian citizen; Canada was actively protesting the imprisonment of Chinese-Canadian Huseyin Celil; and Prime Minister Stephen Harper used strong language in referring to his concern over human rights in China.

But Sino-Canadian relations are improving.

Mr. Harper and senior ministers warmly received Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi during a two-day visit to Ottawa in June.

The Conservatives have dispatched several cabinet ministers to China of late, including Trade Minister Stockwell Day and Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon.

The visit also lays the groundwork for Mr. Harper's first trip to China later this year. The prime minister, who has not visited China during three years in office, was noticeably absent from last year's Olympic Games in Beijing.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is also scheduled to visit China next month.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...rticle1246695/

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbaricManchurian View Post
hmm, I didn't know Canada had such problems with its Chinese population.
This article is sensationalist and has somehow managed to interview quite a few people who expected to be given opportunities on a platter. There are immigrants of every race who cannot find jobs -- because they are looking in the wrong place. Vancouver is notorious for very few job opportunities, which is why the city is where the retired wealthy live.

I listen to Chinese radio, I can watch Chinese only news on a Chinese channel. When I watch ENGLISH news, the news anchor is ALSO CHINESE (Pauline Chan).

There are Chinese Canadians who have achieved tremendous success here.
- Adrienne Louise Clarkson (伍冰枝), former governer general, the Queen's representative in Canada and Canada's head of state.
- Alfred Sung - Founder of Club Monoco
-Rita Tsang, operator of Tour East travel, with annual revenues over $900 million
-Michael Lee-Chin and other self made billionaires

Quote:
T&T a tasty morsel with huge potential for gain

[snip]

This is T&T Supermarket Inc., Canada's largest Asian grocery chain. Dubbed the Loblaws of Asian food retailers because of its large, clean, well-lit stores and westernized approach to merchandising, it's now about to become that in more than name.

The shareholders in the 17-store chain have agreed to be bought by a subsidiary of Loblaw Cos. Ltd. for $225 million in a combination of cash and preferred shares.

"Some of our customers have a nickname for us – The Asian Loblaw. Today, we are proud it has become a reality," T&T chief executive Cindy Lee said in a statement.

A Taiwanese immigrant, Lee said she came up with the concept while a stay-at-home mother of three in Vancouver, who found Asian products were available only at small stores in Chinatown.

[snip]

The East Asian community is worth an estimated $5.2 billion a year to food retailers out of a total food market of more than $75 billion.

With $514 million in sales, T&T is the leader in a fragmented market, with five of 17 stores in the GTA. Two years ago it predicted there was easily room for 10 in the area.

Greater Toronto has as many as 110 Asian supermarkets. They account for some $1.5 billion in annual sales, or roughly 10 per cent of the market, CIBC World Markets analyst Perry Caicco told clients recently, noting the Asian population grew 27 per cent, five times the rate of the general population, in the 2001-06 period.

[snip]

T&T launched in Burnaby, B.C., in 1993, moved into Alberta in 1999 and arrived in Thornhill in 2002. The privately held firm is a joint venture of Uni-President Enterprises Corp., one of Taiwan's 10 largest conglomerates; Tawa Supermarkets Inc., a California-based chain of Asian supermarkets; and a group of Canadian investors.
source: http://www.thestar.com/Business/article/671658

It is quite clear that actually all things considered, Chinese are probably the most successful immigrant group in Canada.


For the 11th consecutive year, China was the leading source country of immigrants to Canada. In 2008, immigrants from China accounted for 12% of new immigrants to Canada. Chinese is spoken more than any language other than English and French. Year after year, the Chinese community grows and becomes stronger.
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Last edited by Skybean; September 4th, 2009 at 07:58 AM.
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Old September 4th, 2009, 07:25 AM   #5
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Hmm, that is a good article. I myself Chinese Indonesian and now Canadian by immigration. Vancouver is a tough place to find job. So is Toronto. Alberta is better place. I agreed with the article that there are glass ceiling to certain degree. But other things also lack of opportunities even to Canadians. Vancouver and Toronto has developed in part because of the influx of immigration. The rich Chinese has bought properties. It's good for those Hong Kongers that can go back and still find plenty of opportunities but not for people like me.
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Old September 4th, 2009, 08:11 AM   #6
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I know many young Chinese people who have moved from Vancouver to Toronto to find jobs. Including my own family. Everyone is in agreement that Toronto provides many more jobs than Vancouver. I have never had problems finding jobs even with large companies in the technology sector or in finance.

Canada is particular strong in these with the former ATI (established by Chinese immigrants), Research in Motion, IBM, Alcatel-Lucent, Adobe and even Electronic Arts in B.C.

Head over to a suburban Toronto Chinese mall and it's packed. There are always visitors from the US, undoubtedly Chinese-Americans who come up to visit a large Chinese population. There are much fewer new Hong Konger immigrants than years ago, but Mainland China continues to be a leading immigrant source and the buzz of activity has never been louder.

Quote:
Going to the wall for the Asian mega-mall


COLIN MCCONNELL/TORONTO STAR
Sheldon Esbin, CEO of Splendid China Tower, stands in the main hall of his new 96,000-sq.-ft. Asian-themed mall at the intersection of Kennedy Rd. and Steeles Ave. Developers are battling over the fast-growing Asian market.


Scarborough/Markham border is ground zero as developers battle for share of market
Nov 17, 2007 04:30 AM
Tony Wong
Business Reporter


Condo malls – common in Asia, but not in North America – have appealed to new immigrants who want to set up their own business.

The phenomenon is largely responsible for the explosion of Asian malls in the GTA.

Before 1989, all shopping centres were typically owned by developers who leased out their units, according to a Ryerson University study.

In a condominium mall development, units are purchased by individual investors. The owners form a corporation, collectively owning the building and shared spaces. The developer collects a management fee. The first condo mall was the Chinatown Centre in Toronto's downtown Chinatown, built in 1989.

A multitude have been built since then, the most prominent being Markham's Pacific Mall.

On the site of a former Canadian Tire store in Toronto's east-side Scarborough neighbourhood, Sheldon Esbin is showing off his gleaming new mall.

"This used to be the garage bay," says Esbin, pointing to a restaurant that serves upscale Shanghai cuisine. No oil changes here, but crispy shredded ginger eel will set you back $13.99. Over in what would presumably be sporting goods is a cosmetics boutique. A pint-sized jar of face cream sells for $568.

"You could go on vacation for that," laughs Esbin, CEO of Splendid China Tower, an Asian-themed mall that opened earlier this year.

While most people won't be beating a path to Scarborough to buy pricey face cream, Esbin hopes they'll at least sample some of his other stores once they get over the sticker shock.

At the border between Scarborough and Markham, the neighbourhood surrounding his site has one of the largest residential concentrations of ethnic Chinese in Canada. The area has become ground zero in a battle of developers for the growing Asian market.

Not since the 1970s and 1980s, when Chinese migration moved north to Scarborough, then upward to Markham and Richmond Hill, has there been such a massive amount of planned development in the GTA.

Covering 96,000 square feet at Kennedy Rd. and Steeles Ave., Splendid China is directly across the street from the 270,000-sq.-ft., glass-wrapped Pacific Mall and the separately owned 300,000-sq.-ft. Market Village Mall – which bill themselves as the largest indoor Asian mall complex in North America – on the Markham side.

But that title won't last long. A five-minute drive east at Middlefield and Steeles, another 435,000-sq.-ft. mall is under construction. That mall, its developer says, will claim the title.

But the other malls don't plan to sit idly by. They each have plans to expand; Splendid China by as much as 200,000 square feet and Market Village and Pacific Mall by up to a combined 300,000 square feet.

When the dust is settled, about one million square feet of Chinese retail mall space is in development or being planned for the area – equivalent to a new office skyscraper in downtown Toronto.

"This is the most extensive development we've had in some time. What you are seeing is the birth of a major new shopping district," says Shuguang Wang, chair of the department of geography at Ryerson University, who has written studies on Chinese commercial activity.

A major reason for all the activity is that ethnic Chinese have been the fastest growing immigrant group in Canada over the last two decades, says Wang, and the majority settle in the GTA. Chinese is the third- most-spoken language in Canada, after French and English.


"The malls are appealing to the new waves of immigration that are looking for services," says Wang. While the GTA already has five Chinese districts – in Markham, Mississauga and Scarborough, and two in Toronto – the border between Markham and Scarborough is the new frontier. And right now, it's high noon.

At Scarborough Community Council last month, lawyers for the Markham malls argued expansion at Splendid China could have a severe impact on already clogged roads.

In a battle that promises to become more heated, Splendid China lawyers claimed the Markham malls simply want to delay the application of a competitor.

A decision on the Splendid China application is expected to come before the Ontario Municipal Board in December.

One person who isn't happy about all the new building is Sam Cohen, the developer who created the Pacific Mall more than a decade ago and turned it into Toronto's most successful Asian mall development.

"It's a free country. Anyone can build. But the problem is, if you put a new mall in, you could have a problem with over-saturation. Especially when you have all these malls so close together selling the same items, it becomes like a zoo," says Cohen. "Just because one mall does well, now you have everybody coming at once."

Cohen is worried about traffic spilling over from Splendid China across the street, creating congestion for clients at his mall and impacting his own expansion plans, which may include a hotel on site.

A mechanical engineer by training, the 63-year old developer formed Torgan Group with a partner more than 20 years ago and started building strip plazas and medical buildings throughout the GTA. Cohen says he built Pacific Mall because he "thought it would work well. I imagined a town with streets and avenues and a lot of daylight. So I put in a lot of windows."

Behind Cohen's glass-enclosed Pacific Mall sits the rustic Market Village, with retail shops that would fit into an Anne of Green Gables theme park. Most people think the malls are part of the same development since they share parking space, but they have different owners.

Market Village is the most poignant symbol of the change in Markham's demographic. Built as a general mall, with touches of Victoriana, almost two decades ago, it played up the rural roots of Markham – a place to have tea and crumpets, not dim sum.

More than 10 years ago, sensing change in the area, lawyer and developer Rudy Bratty decided to change it to Asian development. The success of Market Village led to other Asian building in the area, which led to controversial comments by then-deputy mayor Carole Bell that there were too many Asian theme malls in Markham and that "everything's going Chinese." One wonders what she'd say now.

Certainly, with mainland China the No. 1 source of immigration to Canada, and many newcomers settling in the Markham area, the prevailing sentiment is to build – and the bigger the better.

Market Village's expansion has already been zoned and approved by Markham, says the mall's lawyer, Barry Horosko. The expansion, combined with plans by Pacific Mall, would bring another 300,000 square feet of space to the market.

Horosko says his client isn't opposed to the expansion of Splendid China, but wants to make sure the City of Toronto "does a proper job in making sure the necessary road improvements are in place."

Splendid China's Esbin, a lawyer turned investment banker and developer, says he's spending millions on road improvements.

But right now, the malls are competing for consumers. Esbin says they can co-exist, and possibly bring new customers to the area.

"It's about mall wars. We're all trying to get market share, but it's a big market," he said.

The war may exact a toll. Apart from the traffic, the area is also in danger of being overbuilt, with too many retail stores targeting a narrow community, warns Wang.

But all the new development could produce a destination shopping point and potential tourist draw, especially if Canada receives Approved Destination Status with China, which would mean more tourists from the mainland, she says.

"I don't think we will see this kind of intense activity again for a long time," Wang says.

Meanwhile, as the Markham and Scarborough malls fight over future market share, Terry Yiu is busy constructing his 21st-century vision of what an Asian mall should look like.

A five-minute drive east along Steeles Ave. from Splendid China, Yiu broke ground this summer on what must surely be the death star of Asian shopping malls, on a massive 8.5-hectare site in Scarborough.

The 435,000-sq.-ft. first phase will already make it the largest such mall in the Greater Toronto Area.

"We are building a regional mall, not a neighbourhood mall. This will be a destination point for consumers," says the 41-year-old developer, who has another 8.1 hectares to work with for phase two.

Yiu's aiming high, starting with his mall's name.

The Landmark is a legendary mall in Hong Kong's central financial district, housing Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and China's only Harvey Nichols department store.

The Scarborough Landmark won't have quite the same cachet, but Yiu wants to eschew what he calls the "junky" flea market aesthetic of some Asian malls.

His mall, with the look of a space-aged aircraft hanger, will give a nod to its Canadian farming roots. Two heritage homes, the Underwood House and the William Stone house, will be preserved and placed inside the mall, possibly for use as coffee houses or restaurants.

"People shop in Canada for needs. But people shop in Hong Kong for wants. Shopping is like a religion in Hong Kong," says Yiu, who grew up in Hong Kong before moving to Canada to study chemistry at the University of Guelph. "This design is the culmination of shopping for three years in malls around Asia."

The first phase will offer shopping and entertainment zones, and Yiu's open to ideas for the second phase. "The sky's the limit," he says.

"It's a chance to build something special."
http://www.thestar.com/Business/article/277276

Some pix of the models posted by Solaris at UT. More here.







Is this the image of a Chinese community in decline?

Besides the the mass exodus of Hong Kongers after the handover, the Chinese population has been largely stable. (Although there are still more HKers in Canada than in the US, UK and Australia combined) There is no mass "leaving" of Canada behind as this article suggests. Quite the contrary, it is mass ARRIVING.
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Old September 4th, 2009, 10:34 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by teddybear View Post
Hmm, that is a good article. I myself Chinese Indonesian and now Canadian by immigration. Vancouver is a tough place to find job. So is Toronto. Alberta is better place. I agreed with the article that there are glass ceiling to certain degree. But other things also lack of opportunities even to Canadians. Vancouver and Toronto has developed in part because of the influx of immigration. The rich Chinese has bought properties. It's good for those Hong Kongers that can go back and still find plenty of opportunities but not for people like me.
You came from Surabaya too? Yo opo kabare? WOW, this is great to meet the people from my hometown too! How you can immigrate to Canada?

I read above there many mainland Chinese move to Canada too, their salary in China must be low, How they can manage to immigrate to Canada? Like buy a house for example.

What is the meaning of Asian Mall? Isn't it just the same mall with other normal mall?

I think the opportunities may be different between one city to another, but Canada definitely better than third world country.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 02:37 AM   #8
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@Teddybear

Do you regret leaving your home country? Knowing what you know now and if you could go back in time, would you still move to Canada?

@Celebriton

You'll need to be very wealthy or have special skills like an engineer in order to immigrate to Canada. I hear the waiting period for rich Chinese to immigrate to Canada is 5 years! If you really want to leave Indonesia, you can private message me and I can put you in touch with someone I know in the immigration consulting business in Vancouver.

An Asian mall is just a mall with many Chinese shops and restaurants with mostly mostly Chinese customers.

@Skybean

The pictures of the proposed Asian mall in Markham doesn't even have the financing secured, and construction won't even start for another two years.

Also, the Canadian government is only now warming up to the Chinese government because the Americans in their financial crisis has implemented a protectionist "Buy American" policy which has shut out Canadian companies.

You can deny the problem exists, but even our own Vivienne Poy (利德蕙) who is Canada's first senator of Chinese origin (and former Chancellor of the University of Toronto) has stated that Canada isn't such a welcoming place.


----------
A decade after the Chinese took back Hong Kong, the exodus has reversed as some of the best and brightest of the Chinese community head back to Asia to use their talents and make their fortunes.

In part, that is due to the simple, inescapable reality that even with its booming economy, British Columbia can hardly compete with the job prospects in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore or the red-hot economy of China.

But there is also, warns Senator Vivienne Poy, another, a more troubling reason for the Chinese brain drain.

"Our son told me, a few years back, that there was no chance that someone like him would ever make it to the top of a Canadian corporation," Poy, who immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong in 1959, told the Vancouver Club in a recent speech. "It has nothing to do with intelligence, education and language skills. It's to do with his surname, and his ethnicity.

"On the one hand, there is a lack of opportunities in Canada, partly due to systemic racism and partly because mainstream Canada is like a small club and slow in accepting outsiders," she added.


"On the other hand, globally, Canada's economic opportunities are slipping away."

Yes, Vancouver — and Canada — have undeniably strengthened their ties to Asia thanks to the Hong Kong handover and the human exodus it sparked. Now the trick, says Poy, is to create a hiring environment in corporate Canada that keeps the talent at home, or at least eventually coming back to Canada to work in the national interest.

At the moment, there are anywhere from 240,000 to 300,000 Canadian passport holders in Hong Kong.

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/n...8bd6ce&k=44011


--------------------
Also, I think you've missed my other post on this subject:


Another report, released by TD, detailed Toronto's relative economic decline compared with other Canadian cities, such as Calgary. It highlighted the myth of immigrants being the economic panacea for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) – an area where, in fact, huge numbers of young immigrants are likely to be unemployed or underemployed and earn considerably less than their non-immigrant counterparts.

And in late June, Catalyst Canada released its comprehensive survey of visible minorities in the Canadian workforce, which revealed a perceived glass ceiling that prevents immigrants and other non-whites from advancing beyond mid-level positions.

In a fluid, mobile global economy that allows the most skilled migrants and their educated children to cherry-pick the best jobs in the world, perception is everything.

"If Canada doesn't want the brightest computer programmers, science PhDs, doctors and financial experts there are a hundred other countries that do," says Myer Siemiatycki, director of Ryerson University's graduate program in immigration and settlement studies.

"Canada is gaining a reputation overseas as a place that's not as friendly to immigrants as people like to think. And, now, immigrant patterns and opportunities aren't what they used to be."

The historical view of newcomers destined to toil for generations before gaining a foothold in their new country has been replaced by what Kenny Zhang, senior research analyst for the Asia Pacific Foundation, calls the signal effect, "which means a person with high human capital probably has a better potential return on that capital (wage) in their home country or their parents' home country."


Zhang says that based on his research, "the situation in Canada and other parts of the world is that immigrants are now reassessing their opportunities and moving to other countries or returning to the countries where they came from. Immigrants are much more educated and mobile than in previous times."

Zhang says 675,000 Canadians have moved to Asia alone – the majority over the last decade – and that figure doesn't include those who left the country before getting their citizenship.

"The numbers are soaring," says Don DeVoretz, a professor of economics at Simon Fraser University who has studied the trend of immigrant flight for over 10 years. "Hong Kong, India and the U.S. are the most popular destinations.

"I did a study to find out who is leaving and it's the best and the brightest, immigrants and those born in Canada. The research shows they do much better than those they left behind."


Zhang agrees.

"Even (the) Canadian-born are taking advantage of the mobility of the global workplace. "I know a guy, a brilliant guy who lived here and got his PhD. He worked here at the foundation for a few months. He found a job in Toronto, and was very active in the business community, but wasn't satisfied with the opportunities at his workplace. He went to China and is now the chief investment officer of one of the largest Chinese insurance companies.

"There's a glass ceiling here, so more and more Canadians are going to India and China, especially. (Those countries are) newcomers in the world market, with huge emerging economies. They're looking to the diaspora overseas, for people that have been educated in the U.S. or Canada. The opportunities those educated immigrants or second-generation professionals can't get here are being handed to them in Asia and other parts of the world."

http://www.thestar.com/article/238305

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Old September 5th, 2009, 03:26 AM   #9
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Pretty funny stuff coming from Mrs. Poy, who has achieved tremendous success already. She's proof of it herself, that with work, you can achieve as much as anyone else. Sounds more like she's trying to find work for her lazy son. I have worked in China and Canada, and while some people may think the grass is always greener on the other side, it is simply not always true. Recent immigrants often have weaknesses which put them at a disadvantage compared to the native population - language barriers, customs and attitude. These things can be overcome in time, but often an immigrant decides too soon, that this is too much for them and they leave.

"Canada is gaining a reputation overseas as a place that's not as friendly to immigrants as people like to think. And, now, immigrant patterns and opportunities aren't what they used to be."

Then why do they keep coming? Numbers are only increasing, so the article is totally false. Immigrant patterns are changing indeed, there are more immigrants than previous years. If Canada is really so horrible for immigrants, they are free to move back to their own country. If you look at the net migration patterns, there is no comparison. Much fewer Chinese choose to move back to China on an annual basis.

A large portion of those leaving Canada are actually Hong Kongers who returned after the handover. Just look at how many Canadian passport holders there are in Hong Kong. These people were looking for political stability only... with a large number of retired wealthy citizens who never intended to find work and returning to Hong Kong not because of any racial tensions or lack of employment opportunities.

The articles just do not support my own observations... there are plenty of Chinese in middle management - several in upper management as well. Well, Chinese are still a minority in Canada so proportionally, we are doing quite well. Canada is an immigrant country, other than China itself, there won't be upper level Chinese managers in every company. These people who are complaining probably expect everything to be handed to them without hard work and an innovative mind. For every person like the people in the articles that you post Haoting, there are also very successful people. Even if you stay within the Chinese community and make money from other Chinese... you CAN become tremendously wealthy.




Quote:
A dynasty built on instinct


Cindy Lee, president of T&T Supermarkets, at the Metrotown Mall location in Burnaby, BC.

David Ebner

Vancouver — Last updated on Friday, Sep. 04, 2009 11:11AM EDT


It was worse than the usual shopping slog. The bracing rain of a Vancouver winter, the cramped stores of Chinatown, and three young children in tow – including a five-year-old nephew who had to go to the bathroom, bad.

As Cindy Lee moved from one small store to the next to gather her family's groceries, the grind was all too familiar. Scarce parking, no washrooms.

Then, unable to hold it in, the nephew wet his pants. The shopping was abandoned and Ms. Lee took her troupe home, but the seed was planted for what would become T&T Supermarket Inc., today Canada's No. 1 Asian grocery chain.

T&T was started in 1993 by Ms. Lee and her husband, Jack, a real estate developer and food importer, backed by capital from a supplier in Taiwan and an Asian grocer in California. From the outset, T&T set out to blend East and West: shelves stocked with Chinese and Asian goods, presented like a Safeway or a Loblaw store, with bright, wide aisles. And bathrooms for customers.

“I just felt so bad. That memory really gave me a feeling we should give the customer a more pleasant shopping environment,” says Ms. Lee, the 58-year-old president of T&T, which was bought this summer by Loblaw Cos. Ltd. (L-T32.860.150.46%) for $225-million.

Ms. Lee will play a pivotal role in the strategy of Canada's biggest grocer to seize growth in a market where it has a position but is far from first.

T&T was built on instinct. Ms. Lee handled the books for her husband's business but had no management experience or experience in the grocery industry. But she did know what it was like to haul around kids while doing the shopping, so Jack put her in charge of the new venture.

“Our family laughs about it now,” says daughter Tina Lee, T&T's director of strategy and operations and Ms. Lee's heir apparent. “It was brave and naive at the same time.”

After a hard first year, and a brush with bankruptcy, T&T began a steady rise to dominance in the Chinese and Asian market. It has a devoted following, a half-billion dollars in annual sales and 17 stores – eight in and around Vancouver, two in Calgary, two in Edmonton and five in the Toronto region.

The so-called ethnic food market, encompassing a sprawl of cultures, accounts for about 10 per cent of the Canadian grocery market (which is worth nearly $80-billion annually). T&T has outmuscled its larger competitors, especially for Chinese-Canadian customers. It dominates in Vancouver, far ahead of No. 2 Real Canadian Superstore, owned by Loblaw. In Toronto, Loblaw's No Frills chain has only a slight lead on T&T, according to Solutions Research Group.

It was this success that drew Weston-controlled Loblaw to T&T and the Lees. More than just another business deal, it is a coming together of two immigrant tales, a story of Canada yesterday and today.

“ [The start] was really terrible. By mistake, I opened two supermarkets at the same time. ”— Cindy Lee

The Weston family is now the country's second-richest family, but its food fortune was born humbly in the 1870s when patriarch George Weston, son of a Cockney immigrant, was a baker's boy and sold goods door to door.

Cindy Lee was one of eight children, born in Taiwan to a successful family led by her entrepreneur father, who left revolutionary China in 1948. She studied accounting at university and moved to Canada in 1976. Arriving with little English (and a serious hearing loss that was eventually repaired), her first job was in bookkeeping for $5 an hour. Jack arrived soon after; they married in 1978 and have three children.

Jack Lee had been in the food business since the start of university in Taiwan, where he sold instant noodles to students in residences, booting around on his bicycle during typhoon season. On one such foray, he met his future wife.

In Canada, he worked initially as a food importer and expanded to real estate. He took on his biggest development project in the late 1980s: President Plaza in the growing Vancouver suburb of Richmond, which has a large Asian population.

The Lees wanted a large supermarket to anchor the development but there wasn't an obvious tenant, so the couple decided to start their own. Uni-President, Taiwan's largest food producer, for which Mr. Lee was the wholesale agent in Canada, put up the bulk of the capital.

Along with the Richmond location, the Lees opened a T&T at a mall in Burnaby, another multicultural Vancouver suburb. “[The start] was really terrible. By mistake, I opened two supermarkets at the same time,” Ms. Lee remembers.

At 40,000 square feet, the Burnaby store was five times the size of an average Chinese supermarket, and more like a Loblaw or Safeway – and part of her plan to bring together the best of East and West.

“ T&T convinces people, after you walk out, you feel you've gotten more than what you paid. ”— Ron Chang, president of Regal Communication Group

T&T struggled with basics, from tracking inventory to keeping produce fresh, either drenched with mist or frozen from too much refrigeration. A year in, with only six months of capital left, the stress tearing Ms. Lee apart, she sought advice from her father back in Taiwan. He advised her to present a composed front to stave off potentially fretful suppliers and told her to hire experienced help – fast.

It worked. Details were tended to and the customers kept coming. Along the way, Ms. Lee devoured ideas and information. She raced through Chinese translations of tomes from American titans such as Sam Walton's Made in America. On a trip to Taiwan, when she saw kiosks selling sushi to commuters, she copied the idea.

Underpinning T&T's rise and dedicated customer base is brand loyalty. The Loblaw purchase sparked a kind of panic among T&T devotees, but the chain remains its own banner under the Loblaw umbrella and Ms. Lee stays at the helm, something Loblaw insisted on. It didn't want the shell, it wanted the people who make it work.

“T&T built the brand,” says Ron Chang, president of Regal Communication Group, an Asian marketing consultancy. “They just finished a Japanese food festival. They've been selling Japanese merchandise for years but put up a nice display, Japanese decorations. It's simple and it works. It gives the customers another reason to visit the store. T&T convinces people, after you walk out, you feel you've gotten more than what you paid.”



While looking much like a mainstream supermarket, T&T is a bigger version of all the amazing tiny Asian grocers, a specialist in cheap, fresh produce and fish. At one counter, marinated pig ear is on special ($5.50 a box). In produce, there's fire dragon fruit from Vietnam and red rambutan fruit from Thailand.

And the stores are stocked with fresh takeaway, dim sum, sandwiches and sushi.

“It's very simple,” says Ms. Lee, describing her gut-instinct choices of what to sell: “Be the customer. Feel that you are the customer. Then you'll find out easily.”

The T&T-Loblaw link began in 2008, when Joe Burnett, reclusive Toronto billionaire and chairman of real estate developer and produce distributor Burnac Corp., visited a T&T. He was awed by what he found. Burnac was a supplier to T&T, as well as Loblaw, and Mr. Burnett soon met with Ms. Lee in Vancouver. He was further impressed and she latched on to his industry smarts.

Mr. Burnett gave advice: He saw the majority ownership of T&T by two foreign firms as “somewhat of a shambles.” But the busy aisles of the store in downtown Toronto stuck with him. It clearly drew customers from beyond the couple of kilometres typical for the industry. “It's a destination,” Mr. Burnett says. “She could have 25 stores.”

An introduction to Loblaw followed, beginning the year-long negotiations that ended in the July sale of T&T. The roots of family, for both grocers, were an important connection as talks progressed.

“As big as the Westons are, they are family. It was appealing. And they respected that in us, too,” Tina Lee says.

The deal is set to close later this year and T&T is poised to grow. Store No. 18 in Ottawa opens shortly.

“With Loblaw's help, we hope to open as many stores as possible,” Cindy Lee says. “Wherever there is an Asian population, we'd like to open a store.”
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...rticle1275153/

Regarding Remington Centre in Markham, it only recently started marketing itself to prospective tenants. It is a new proposal. It is backed by one of the richest men in Canada. If you have ever been in the area before you'd know that it will surely be built. This is the epicentre of the Chinese community in Toronto. There are already 3 malls in the area including the brown one on the left of the last picture which is the largest Asian mall in North America. That is not to mention the Landmark (already U/C) which will be the new largest when completed.

If the Chinese community was not thriving, the proposal wouldn't even have been proposed.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 03:54 AM   #10
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It came as a surprise to me when I found out Vancouver, a population of a bit over 2 million, has more than 400000 Chinese, thats a about 20% of the city...

And I thought Auckland was really Chinese, with a population of 1.5 mil, there's about 100000 ethnic Chinese I think, and you can comfortably get around in Auckland knowing only Cantonese and Mandarin, and actually a portion of Mandarin speaking people have learnt to understand decent gwang dong waa since coming to Auckland, including myself

I kinda wanna visit Vancouver now, see what its like there with such a large amount of Chinese people in a western city.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 04:01 AM   #11
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The job market isn't as deep in Canada as in the US, but if you do get a job, you'll have a pretty good life (unlike for example it's easier to get a job in the US, but there's less of a safety net if you get fired). Most Chinese-Americans are on the West Coast, and places in LA and San Francisco (30% Asian) are quite similar to Toronto in being able to live a Chinese-only life, if you'd like to. Well, also with New York you can, but there's a smaller proportion of Chinese compared to the entire population, however in Flushing you can have all your "Asian" needs satisfied.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 05:01 AM   #12
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Old September 5th, 2009, 09:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
You came from Surabaya too? Yo opo kabare? WOW, this is great to meet the people from my hometown too! How you can immigrate to Canada?
Right, I grew up in Surabaya. Not to hard for me to immigrate to Canada. You can do it yourself too, just browse and look at the Canadian immigration website.

Quote:
Do you regret leaving your home country? Knowing what you know now and if you could go back in time, would you still move to Canada?
Hmm, I do not regret. There are advantages and disadvantages everywhere. What I do regret is, I stay too long in Vancouver. I should have move on to different place like Calgary, Edmonton or Toronto.

@Skybean, I have been in Toronto too, but just only visiting for a few days. I like it there because there are many Asians, and very international. However, I heard from many people from Toronto that it is also difficult to find job over there. This is kinda contradict with your story. I myself in Edmonton. One thing I do not like here is too cold for me. Winter is long. I would like to move out but with Toronto also difficult to get job, that is a discouragement to me. But oh I like how I can get out eating till late at night at a chinese restaurant in Markham I believe, that is so nice experience for me!
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Old September 5th, 2009, 05:36 PM   #14
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The same shit happens all over Canada, but Toronto maybe the worst place for an immigrant or ethnic minority to look for a good job.

Job applicants with foreign names have lesser chance for interviews: UBC study

May 20, 2009
CBC News

Job applicants with English-sounding names have a greater chance of getting interviews than those with Chinese, Pakistani or Indian names, a new study by University of British Columbia researchers suggests.

The study found Canadians and landed immigrants with names such as "Jill Wilson" or "John Martin" are 40 per cent more likely to be offered an interview than someone with a name like "Sana Khan" or "Lei Li," given an identical resumé.

Applicants with mixed names like "Vivian Zhang" had a 20 per cent better chance to land an interview than job-seekers with non-English names, but still less than the English-only names.

"The findings suggest that a distinct foreign-sounding name may be a significant disadvantage on the job market even if you are a second- or third-generation citizen," said Philip Oreopoulos, a professor of economics at UBC who led the research.

'There's certainly an element of unfairness going on that an individual with a distinct foreign name is not being given the chance to go to the next round.'



— Philip Oreopoulos, University of British Columbia

Oreopoulos's working paper was released Wednesday by Metropolis British Columbia, part of an international immigration and diversity research network.

The researchers tailored 6,000 mock resumés to meet specific job requirements in 20 occupational categories and sent them last fall to 2,000 online job postings from potential employers in the Greater Toronto Area.

Each resumé listed a bachelor's degree and four to six years of experience, with name and domestic or foreign education and work experience randomly assigned.


"I was surprised to see almost as much name discrimination going on here as there was in the United States between distinct black- and white-sounding names," Oreopoulos said.

Might break laws

Name-based discrimination may contravene human rights laws, he said, although more research is needed to determine whether the employers' behaviour was intentional.

"There's certainly an element of unfairness going on that an individual with a distinct foreign name is not being given the chance to go to the next round and prove to the employer that they could be a better candidate," Oreopoulos said.

Michael Lam of SUCCESS, an immigrant advocacy group based in Vancouver, said the findings present a "strong impression that the business community is still not fully aware or understand the immigrant community."

The group's chief executive officer, Tung Chan, added that the phenomenon is nothing new.


"It's something that we hear all the time, that we see all the time," Chan said.

"Many of them feel that there is a glass ceiling that they are hitting, and it comes back to the same thing — the feeling that they belong to a different cultural group."

The study also found employers preferred Canadian work experience over Canadian education.

For resumés with foreign names and education, call backs nearly doubled when the applicant had held one previous job in Canada.

"This suggests policies that prioritize Canadian experience or help new immigrants find initial domestic work experience might significantly increase their employment chances," Oreopoulos said.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-col...job-study.html

Last edited by Haoting; November 10th, 2009 at 06:54 AM.
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Old September 6th, 2009, 12:01 AM   #15
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Canada never really sorted out its racial problems in a dramatic way, they just have a feeling they are friendly to immigrants, but they may have more subconscious racism than the US as they never had any huge event forcing them to try to reduce it (which is a good and a bad thing).
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Old September 6th, 2009, 12:17 AM   #16
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There was never anything dramatically racist which would require a dramatic resolution. The major racist Canadian problem now is the treatment of aboriginal Canadians. I don't know if this will ever be fixed properly. I never feel any sort of subconscious racism... but maybe Haoting does.

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Originally Posted by Haoting View Post
The same shit happens all over Canada, but Toronto maybe the worst place for an immigrant or ethnic minority to look for a good job.
Where is your proof for this? Your own belief? 2000 job postings is hardly indicative of the entire job market which has more than a million jobs.

In fact, Toronto is the BEST place for a Chinese immigrant in Canada to look for a job.


Table 8 shows, the Chinese immigrants in Toronto had the highest total incomes, employment incomes and self-employment incomes. This was true for Chinese immigrants from all four origins, suggesting that Toronto, indeed, has more economic opportunities than do Vancouver and Montreal, and has a more rewarding labour market. This may be why 45 per cent of all Chinese immigrants who were skilled workers and professionals chose Toronto as their settlement destination. In Vancouver, where a high proportion (42 per cent) of all entrepreneur/investor-class immigrants went, only investment income was the highest among the values for the three CMAs.


From Statistics Canada (more reliable than newspapers who are only out to profit from sensationalist articles)

Quote:
Employment trends

Canadian adults of Chinese origin are somewhat less likely to be employed than adults in the overall population. In 2001, 56% of adults of Chinese origin aged 15 and over were employed, compared with 62% of all Canadian adults. This reflects in part the fact that a relatively large proportion of the Chinese population in Canada are recent arrivals who in many cases are still adjusting to life in this country. Indeed, Canadians of Chinese origin who have been living in Canada since 1981 have a higher employment rate than the overall population.
http://dsp-psd.communication.gc.ca/C...XIE2006001.pdf

Undoubtedly the employment disparity here is caused by the language barriers. After living in Canada for a long time (and learning English), these barriers begin to disappear and the rate of employment is level once again.

Quote:
Most feel a sense of belonging to Canada

According to the Ethnic Diversity Survey, a large majority of Canadians of Chinese origin feel a strong sense of belonging to Canada. In 2002, 76% of those who reported Chinese origins said they had a strong sense of belonging to Canada. At the same time, 58% said that they had a strong sense of belonging to their ethnic or cultural group.

Canadians of Chinese origin are also active in Canadian society. For example, 64% of those who were eligible to vote reported doing so in the 2000 federal election, while 60% said they voted in the last provincial election. As well, about 35% reported that they had participated in an organization such as a sports team or community association in the 12 months preceding the 2002 Ethnic Diversity survey.

At the same time, though, over one in three (34%) Canadians of Chinese origin reported that they had experienced discrimination or unfair treatment based on their ethnicity, race, religion, language or accent in the past five years, or since they arrived in Canada. A majority (63%) of those who had experienced discrimination said that they felt it was based on their race or skin colour, while 42% said that the discrimination took place at work or when applying for a job or promotion.
http://dsp-psd.communication.gc.ca/C...XIE2006001.pdf

Sure there may be some racism amongst several people, but it is surely not a rampant problem as those newspaper articles seem to suggest.
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Last edited by Skybean; September 6th, 2009 at 01:27 AM.
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Old September 6th, 2009, 08:09 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbaricManchurian View Post
Canada never really sorted out its racial problems in a dramatic way, they just have a feeling they are friendly to immigrants, but they may have more subconscious racism than the US as they never had any huge event forcing them to try to reduce it (which is a good and a bad thing).
Yes and that is why Canada will probably have a crisis in their hands soon as the report below implies.


How Canadian are you?
Visible-minority immigrants and their children identify less and less with the country, report says


MARINA JIMÉNEZ

From Friday's Globe and Mail
Mar. 31, 2009


Visible-minority immigrants are slower to integrate into Canadian society than their white, European counterparts, and feel less Canadian, suggesting multiculturalism doesn't work as well for non-whites, according to a landmark report.

The study, based on an analysis of 2002 Statistics Canada data, found that the children of visible-minority immigrants exhibited a more profound sense of exclusion than their parents.

Visible-minority newcomers, and their offspring, identify themselves less as Canadians, trust their fellow citizens less and are less likely to vote than white immigrants from Europe.

The findings suggest that multiculturalism, Canada's official policy on interethnic relations since 1971, is not working as well for newer immigrants or for their children, who hail largely from China, South Asia and the Caribbean, conclude co-authors Jeffrey Reitz, a University of Toronto sociologist, and Rupa Banerjee, a doctoral candidate.

It is also a warning that Canada, long considered a model of integration, won't be forever immune from the kind of social disruption that has plagued Europe, where marginalized immigrant communities have erupted in discontent, with riots in the Paris suburbs in the fall of 2005.

"We need to address the racial divide," Prof. Reitz said. "Otherwise there is a danger of social breakdown. The principle of multiculturalism was equal participation of minorities in mainstream institutions. That is no longer happening."

The sense of exclusion among visible-minority newcomers is not based on the fact that they earn less than their white counterparts. Instead, the researchers found integration is impeded by the perception of discrimination, and vulnerability -- defined as feeling uncomfortable in social situations due to racial background and a fear of suffering a racial attack.

That is why even as the economic circumstances of newcomers improve over time, the path to integration does not necessarily become smoother for visible minorities.


The study found that 35 per cent of recent immigrants of Chinese origin reported experiences of perceived discrimination, 28 per cent of South Asians, and 44 per cent of blacks, compared with 19 per cent of whites.

The gap didn't narrow, but widened, with the next generation, with 42 per cent of all visible minority second-generation immigrants reporting discrimination, compared with 10.9 per cent of their white counterparts.


"There is a perception among minority communities that discrimination is part of their lives. Yet if you ask Canadians in general, they discount discrimination," Prof. Reitz noted.

The study, released yesterday by the Montreal-based Institute for Research on Public Policy, was based on the Ethnic Diversity Survey, which asked seven specific questions about integration. It is considered the best source of information on the topic because of the huge sample size (more than 40,000 respondents).

The study's authors found that only 33 per cent of first-generation visible-minority immigrants identified as Canadians, compared with 64 per cent of white immigrants, while 70 per cent voted in the last federal election, compared with 82 per cent of white immigrants. Seventy-nine per cent of visible-minority immigrants had Canadian citizenship, compared with 97 per cent of white immigrants.

Regarding interpersonal trust -- trust of one's fellow citizens -- the response of blacks was markedly lower. Thirty per cent of blacks trusted their fellow citizens, compared with 50 per cent of white immigrants and 60 per cent of Chinese immigrants.

As for the children of visible-minority immigrants, 44 per cent of them felt a sense of belonging, compared with about 60 per cent of their parents. In contrast, 57 per cent of the children of white immigrants felt a sense of belonging, compared with 47 per cent of their parents.

While Canadians in general remain supportive of immigration, they also maintain a "social distance" from minorities, reflected in the study's findings, the authors noted.

"When you study the trend over time, visible minorities who were born here feel less like they belong than their parents," Prof. Reitz said.

The research highlights an urgent issue: the failure to engage immigrants as full members of society, said Ratna Omidvar, executive director of the Maytree Foundation, a Toronto organization that works with immigrants. "Good multicultural policy must not only protect our rights to equality, but it must also create real opportunities," she said.


Added Prof. Reitz: "Multiculturalism doesn't have specific goals and objectives. The majority population thinks too much is being done already, while minorities think the policy lacks credibility."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...icle736345.ece

Last edited by Haoting; November 10th, 2009 at 06:55 AM.
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Old September 7th, 2009, 03:11 AM   #18
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^Spent some time reading the article. What a pity they owner has sold T&T to Superstore. Why they sold it? And some Asian malls are owned by non-Chinese.
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Old September 7th, 2009, 10:34 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by teddybear View Post
^Spent some time reading the article. What a pity they owner has sold T&T to Superstore. Why they sold it? And some Asian malls are owned by non-Chinese.
Because she wanted the money?

It's not a big deal that Asian malls are owned by non-Asians. Asians own businesses that have clientele made up of non-Asians.
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Old September 17th, 2009, 08:25 AM   #20
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Chinese less happy about life in Canada than S. Asians: poll

“Immigrants come to Canada seeking a better life for their family and children. Though quality of life (i.e., air, environment) is perceived to be better in Canada compared to their home country, there is still disappointment with job opportunities. Recent immigrants to Canada are well-educated with professional degrees, and have extensive skills and work experience. More companies need to create or participate in programs to hire these new Canadians who are able to make an immediate contribution to the Canadian economy. They are our solution to Canada’s rapidly aging workforce, which we risk losing to reverse immigration back to their home countries,” says Jill Hong, Vice-President at Ipsos Reid in Toronto.

These views are similar across various demographic subgroups: gender, household income, and province (British Columbia vs. Ontario). However, a few differences between population subgroups exist. In particular, South Asians are more likely than Chinese to view aspects of life in Canada positively compared to their home country:

* South Asians are more likely than Chinese to feel overall quality of life is much better in Canada than their home country (62% vs. 37%);

* South Asians are more likely than Chinese to view their social life as better in Canada than their home country (48% vs. 21%); and,

* South Asians are more likely than Chinese to consider job opportunities to be better in Canada than in their home country (71% vs. 27%).

South Asians include people from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid study fielded from November 24 to December 1, 2008 and from March 11 to March 31, 2009.

http://www.chineseinvancouver.ca/200...s-asians-poll/

Last edited by Haoting; November 10th, 2009 at 06:56 AM.
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