The impact of these exclusionary laws and practices is still felt today. A recently released report, Colour-Coded Retirement by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, shows that Chinese seniors have the lowest average income ($28,200) and highest poverty rate (25%) among all racialized groups. People born in Canada are much more likely to be financially secure compared to peers born abroad. That’s true for everyone, Chinese or not. But only 3% of Chinese-Canadian seniors were born in Canada and therefore most of the seniors we serve are less financially secure.
Ongoing acts of racism against Asian Canadians and the unearthing of heartbreaking tragedies in Indigenous communities clearly signal that our work must continue. We must continue to advocate for equity and social justice for all Canadians.
I have invited Yee Hong leaders to acknowledge and reflect on the impact of systemic racism and oppression, and what we can do to address and prevent these impact on future generations. Yee Hong’s new 2021-24 Strategic Plan includes objectives to advocate and promote cultural humility, increase access to culturally-appropriate services and care, and to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion.
Yee Hong was established in 1987 to address the void in culturally-appropriate services and care for seniors. Today, we serve over 15,000 seniors, caregivers and families from diverse backgrounds to “Live their lives to the fullest – with health, independence, and dignity.” Yee Hong supports seniors to have the highest quality of life. We remove barriers due to language, culture, poverty and other factors. Our broad continuum is our hallmark at Yee Hong, where we provide culturally-appropriate, person-centred services and care for seniors living in any setting.
Please take some time to reflect and consider what meaningful dialogue and action to prevent racism and oppression mean for you. We invite you to join us in this important journey.