Governments join to push for World Heritage Site for Vancouver’s Chinatown

Premier Horgan says the contributions of early Chinese immigrants and their descendants touch every corner of the province.

Vancouver’s historic Chinatown is facing development pressures. [photo courtesy of vacouver.ca]

Vancouver’s historic Chinatown is facing development pressures. [photo courtesy of vacouver.ca]

British Columbia and Vancouver want the city’s Chinatown designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Premier John Horgan says the area is a “symbol of resilience” and the designation would recognize generations from the Chinese community who helped build the province.

Horgan says the contributions of early Chinese immigrants and their descendants touch every corner of the province.

The B.C. government says in a news release the UNESCO designation would recognize the area as a site of ongoing cultural and historic value.

Both governments have made official apologies for the past treatment of Chinese-Canadians.

The province says the world heritage designation would serve as a reminder of the racism, discrimination and hardships faced by pioneers from the community.

There are 1,092 World Heritage sites around the globe, including 19 in Canada.

The federal government would have to nominate Chinatown for it to get consideration by the UN agency.

Related: Vancouver mayor to apologize to residents of Chinese descent for past wrongs

Related: Family of lion dancers ready to roar at Vancouver’s Chinatown Spring Festival

The Canadian Press

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