A surge of attacks in one of Canada’s most multicultural cities during the pandemic is surfacing long-simmering racial tensions.
It’s said to be the most Asian city outside Asia. Where a quarter of residents speak a Chinese language and the char siu rivals what’s served in Hong Kong barbecue shops. Where a Sikh gurdwara, a Tibetan monastery, and a Chinese evangelical church coexist in harmony along a 3-kilometer stretch of road dubbed the Highway to Heaven. The kind of place that should be immune to a rise in pandemic-fueled racism.
Vancouver has been anything but.
Last year, more anti-Asian hate crimes were reported to police in Vancouver, a city of 700,000 people, than in the top 10 most populous U.S. cities combined. With almost 1 out of every 2 residents of Asian descent in British Columbia experiencing a hate incident in the past year, the region is confronting an undercurrent of racism that runs as long and deep as the historical links stretching across the Pacific…