Asians Immigrate to the Canadian Pacific


More and more Chinese immigrants have been coming to Canada’s Pacific coast.  In Vancouver they have opened up restaurants and sell sea food and fish for local customers.

Richmond, a southern suburb of Vancouver, has more Chinese residents than any other Canadian city. Almost half a million Chinese live here, but they have influenced life all over British Columbia. There is even an online edition of the Vancouver Sun in Mandarin.

This part of Canada has been turning to China for trade and commerce. The Chinese are interested in Canadian lumber, oil and gas. Exports to China are five times as high as they were in 2000.

Not all Canadians are happy about Chinese immigration. Many fear that they are taking away jobs otherwise reserved for Canadians. Towards the end of the 19th century the Canadian government placed a tax on Chinese workers who came to the country.

Chinatown in Vancouver

Vancouver's Chinatown

Chinese immigration came to a halt during the most of the 20th century. In the 1980s and 1990s mostly wealthy people from Hong Kong started coming to Canada, settled down in expensive neighborhoods and bought real estate from local people. Politicians have warned about what they call “the Asian invasion”, about the Chinese taking over Vancouver. Some citizens in Vancouver are complaining that the Chinese are buying up the best land and driving real estate prices sky-high.

After Hong Kong became Chinese in 1997, more people came from Communist China and Taiwan. Today, every fifth citizen in Vancouver is of Chinese origin and over 10,000 new immigrants arrive every year.
Families are also worried that too many immigrants are taking away college and university places. In some schools white Canadians are in the minority.

As Canadians become aware that the future lies in Asia, many are taking advantage of this and preparing for a new economic boom. The government is also taking steps to provide British Columbia and the Vancouver region with opportunities to get into business with China.


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  • century = a hundred years
  • citizen = a person who lives in a country or city and has rights there
  • commerce = trade, business
  • complain = to be angry about something and say so
  • customer = a person who buys and sell things
  • economic boom = a lot of business and trade
  • government = the people who rule a country
  • halt = stop
  • immigrant = a person who leaves their home country and travels to another country to live and work there
  • influence = change
  • local = the people who live there
  • lumber = wood
  • Mandarin = official language of China, mostly spoken by educated Chinese
  • minority = a small group of people who live with a larger group
  • opportunity = chance
  • origin = coming from …
  • otherwise = or else
  • place = put
  • provide = give
  • real estate = land, houses, apartments etc..
  • resident = someone who lives in a certain place
  • settle down = to start living in a new place
  • sky-high = very very high
  • step = action
  • suburb = area where people live which is far away from the city centre
  • take advantage = to use a situation to get what you want
  • tax = money that everyone has to pay to the government and which is used to pay for public services
  • wealthy = rich