I’ve lived in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant for close to thirty years, and in Strathcona/Chinatown for most of that time. It’s my home, and an area I’m very fond of —of course, a lot of Vancouverites and visitors are fond of Chinatown, and it represents an important aspect of our city’s history. Forged among the bitter memories of institutional racism and head tax, Chinatown represents the fortitude and perseverance of the pioneers who helped build our city and province.

Of course, Chinatown is also a great place for food, shopping, and sightseeing for tourists and locals alike!

In recent years, since Vancouver City Council passed the the Historic Area Heights review, new developments threaten the physical and cultural character of Chinatown. Inconsistent with the narrow frontages that once defined the urban form of the neighbourhood, new large footprint buildings are contributing to rising land values and the displacement of both residents and retail.

We must act decisively if we are to preserve the character of the Chinatown. In light of two recently approved large development re-zonings, the impending removal of the viaducts, and relocation of St. Paul’s Hospital — significant new changes are coming to the neighbourhood.

I’m proud to support my neighbours and a new generation of young Chinese Canadians who are leading the efforts to revitalize and protect Chinatown through advocacy, engagement and social connectivity.

As MLA, I will pledge to work with provincial and federal government to protect Chinatown, and to build new housing for the nearly 1,000 elders who call the neighbourhood home. I will push for further provincial heritage legacy funding to preserve this cultural treasure.