Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Like I Said Before...

Beware men from China bearing gifts.

Last month, Dr. Kwok Chu-Lee and his wife Grace made a blockbuster donation to the Richmond Public Library: a collection of 46,730 Chinese books appraised at $1,194,000. 
On Aug. 29, the library held an official ceremony to recognize Lee's philanthropy. It was attended by library officials and representatives from the city, the province and the federal government, plus assorted other dignitaries. The book collection was repeatedly described as a "national treasure." 
In an interview, chief librarian Greg Buss confirmed the library gave Lee and his wife tax receipts for the full amount of the appraised value. 
Those receipts could potentially generate $521,778 worth of tax credits, assuming the Lees are taxed at the highest marginal rate of 43.7 per cent. 
Lee would have to pay capital gains tax on any difference between his purchase price and the donation value, but he would still enjoy a substantial saving, because only half the difference is taxable at the highest marginal rate. 
So what the library got for free, will potentially cost tax-payers several hundred thou-sand dollars in foregone tax revenue. That raises the question, did taxpayers get value for their money? 
          The answer is, we don't know.{...}

As for Lee, Buss rejected any suggestion that his donations were motivated by tax considerations.: "I have known the man over the last 17 years and I have a good sense of his attitude toward books, education and philanthropy."
A Chinese national's actions not motivated by money but by charity?  I find that hard to believe.


Hat Tip ImmigrationWatchCanada.org.

Related. 

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

A few thoughts:

This charitable donation, like many among most recent immigrants, particularly those with strong cultural ties, is really targetted mainly towards their own community, and not Canadians in general. Immigrants are increasingly not assimilating, and when they are involved in charity, it tends to be towards helping out people from what they term their "home country" (ie. not Canada).

Try going to any mainstream charitable event that benefits all Canadians, and despite the demographics of the surrounding area (as in Toronto), you will find the majority of those involved are still non visible-minority.

Groups like Somalis, Roma, Jamaicans, Tamils, etc., are generally absent. However, some members of their community are frequently the first in line for handouts.

Chinese who have been here longer may donate, but, as you see, not only does this donation mainly benefit other Chinese, there will be a substantial tax credit.

No one wants to face it now, but as our government continues to scale back services, yet increase the number of immigrants, we will be facing a problem with fund raising in the future. More and more of the sponsored relatives are not competitive in the work force, and the refugees (and claimants) are struggling.

Alain said...

No knowing the gentleman I cannot know what his motives were, and frankly I do not see this as a major problem. What I do see as a problem is the libraries purchasing on a regular basis books in foreign languages along with DVDs. The number of these purchases is extremely high at the Fraser Valley Regional Library and I suspect it is the same or higher at other library systems. If various ethnic groups wish to purchase and donate books in their language along with DVDs I don't see a problem, but that is not the case.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous [3 October, 2012 10:43:00 AM EDT], great post. Further to your post, you may want to read this excellent book:

The Ethnic Phenomenon
by Pierre Van Den Berghe

"The theory of kin selection: The more genes we share with another individual, the more altruistic we are toward him. And the less kind we are toward our more distant kin.

Since there is no fundamental boundary between family, ethnic group, and race, Van Den Berghe coined the brilliant term "ethnic nepotism" to describe the human tendency to favor "our people" at the expense of others."

http://www.amazon.com/The-Ethnic-Phenomenon-Pierre-Berghe/dp/0275927091

PaxCanadiana said...

The Toronto Public Library System's self-checkout terminals provide language options in English, French and Mandarin/Cantonese (I don't know which one).

I wholly object to providing a Chinese dialect as an option. It's not an official language and that's because it's not a founding one.

Why stop there? How options in Punjabi, Urdu, Italian, Tagalog, and Greek?

Mandarin is only given as an option simply due to the sizable, stubbornly unassimilated Chinese presence in the city and nothing more. This doesn't encourage assimilation. It works against it.

But regarding the donation of the books it speaks to a broader issue. That issue is whether Chinese interest in and mass introduction into our country benefits us as a people or is it Chinese acting out of self-interest. I think it's the later in which case the behaviour needs to be contained.

Anonymous said...

Good point (last post). Is the Chinese community coming here to become Canadians, or are they coming here because they are running out of space in China? Are they coming to build their own communities where they can run businesses and life in their own languages and deal with others of the same ethnicity? Will this be a good thing for Canada? Maybe it makes our politicians happy as they see bodies and hope for potential taxpayers.

CIBC is also offering Chinese on the instant teller. I wanted to write to them as a client, but figured I'd only get a form letter back.

PaxCanadiana said...

Are they coming to build their own communities where they can run businesses and life in their own languages and deal with others of the same ethnicity?

A couple years back the Toronto Star ran an article about a proposed Asian themed condo/shopping complex to be built somewhere in North York or Markham.

I can't find it now but in it the developer, who is not Asian himself by the way, targeted the Asian community for an Asian them residential and business complex due to research that found that 50% of Asians that he surveyed as research for the project lived and did business almost exclusively with other Asians.

That being true it doesn't appear to me there here to be Canadians.

Anonymous said...

While I agree with most of your points, I am not exactly sure why you wholly object to having Mandarin or other foreign languages being given as an option with the Toronto library checkout system, based on the fact that it is not a founding one.

I mean by that logic, maybe we should argue that all the metro systems in China or Taiwan or Japan should tear off all their English signs as it is not a founding language of those countries. Most people there can't understand English anyways, so why bother having it as an option? It doesn't cater to their people.
And by having those foreign language signs, do you not think that they are also discouraging assimilation for non-native people living in those countries as well? I mean if you can get by with English signs everywhere in China and Japan, why even bother assimilating or let alone learning the local language?

I mean, I don't really hear complaints from Chinese people about non-Chinese refusing to speak their language, let alone assimilate, and maybe it is for this reason that Chinese people deem it to be acceptable to not have to when they are outside of China.

But the thing is, having greater language options provide convenience to people who may not understand that language well enough to get by in life, especially when they're new to the country.

PaxCanadiana said...

maybe we should argue that all the metro systems in China or Taiwan or Japan should tear off all their English signs as it is not a founding language of those countries

No, but English is an international language. Indeed it is THE international language. Typically, when an individual is bilingual English is either their first or second language.

For Asian countries to post signs in English on the transit systems of their major cities has to do with tourism and commerce. It makes no sense for them to post signs in the languages of all countries just in case they might get tourists and business from those countries.

Also, English uses the Latin alphabet which is also the alphabet of two major world languages: French and Spanish. (And also German with some additions to accommodate the language much like the Vietnamese adopted the Latin alphabet and added nuances to suit their language.)

Speakers of languages that used the Latin alphabet have some ability to read those languages but not understand it. By using English as the common language they can read it then translate it with the help of an aid.

Asian writing systems based on characters (or Kanji) are completely alien to everyone outside those countries. It's limiting.

So it's in their self-interest to post signage in English on the transit systems to attract tourist money and business from around the world.

Tourists and business that come to Toronto don't make it a priority to visit the library system. The fact that Mandarin is in Toroto's public library system bespeaks of how unassimilated and non-Canadian these people are.

do you not think that they are also discouraging assimilation for non-native people living in those countries as well

Seeing how racist and xenophobic China and Japan are and how restrictive their immigration systems are (meaning they have none to speak of) I don't think that's an issue. You're picking at straws here. Besides, even if you were fluent in Mandarin or Japanese you'd never be accepted as one based on your race so good luck with assimilating. You'll need it.

I don't really hear complaints from Chinese people about non-Chinese refusing to speak their language

Oh, you don't hear it! So I guess it never happens then. And when most of the foreigners are tourists anyway who'll leave eventually, what's to complain about? Canada however...

having greater language options provide convenience to people who may not understand that language well enough to get by in life, especially when they're new to the country

You cannot call yourself a Canadian if you cannot speak English or French or the myriad of indigenous languages. A common language unites a people. Introducing more languages into the mix is divisive.

When you are new to the country exceptions can be made. But when you've been in the country long enough and you still need an option at the library in your native tongue to navigate the system then you're a problem. You are more like colonizers than Canadians.

Language is a marker of a shared identity. Learning the language of the country you immigrate to is a sign of respect and appreciation. Learn it! If you cannot do that or refuse to do that (or are just to damn lazy to do so) then don't feel so shocked when you're not accepted by the host society.

Anonymous said...

Besides, even if you were fluent in Mandarin or Japanese you'd never be accepted as one based on your race so good luck with assimilating. You'll need it.

Very true but not necessarily a bad thing.

Japanese Only

Anonymous said...

VF: You became a human-rights activist in Japan after you experienced prejudice ... what happened?

AD: Shortly after I had lived in Japan for about a decade, married a Japanese, had children, and bought a house near Sapporo, I got a big surprise. I found out in 1999 that there were public hot springs, onsen in Japanese, in a nearby city called Otaru that had "Japanese Only" signs up. My friends and I took our families there for a bath. Management there allowed the people who "looked Japanese" to enter but barred those who "looked foreign" - meaning me, my German friend Olaf, another American friend, and one of my daughters. She looked "more foreign" than her older sibling, who was "safe" because she looked more like her Japanese mother. However, they let in a Chinese member of our group because she looked "Japanese enough". Then they kicked her out when she revealed herself as foreign. It was a case study in racial discrimination, and it eventually became a court case that went all the way to the Japanese Supreme Court.

VF: Before you went to court, you tried to reason with people ... arguing what?

AD: The bathhouses insisted that they had experienced difficulties with foreign customers, meaning language and order issues. They said that drunken Russian sailors were making a ruckus, driving their Japanese customers away. We countered that those sailors were indeed obnoxious individuals, but you couldn't paint all foreigners based upon the actions of a few. Besides, the management's practice of deciding who is "foreign" based upon physical appearance was flawed because they were in fact banning Japanese, like my daughter, while letting in foreigners, like our Chinese friend. So they should improve their filter and wait until an individual misbehaves before banning that miscreant.


It's called freedom of association.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Japan/NA12Dh01.html