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Old Posted Dec 5, 2007, 4:40 AM
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Metro Vancouver is now more multicultural than Miami, Los Angeles or New York City.

Metro's mosaic

Forty per cent of region's residents born elsewhere, census reveals

VANCOUVER - Metro Vancouver is now more multicultural than Miami, Los Angeles or New York City. And it's multicultural in a very 21st-century way.

Vancouver's new Canadians, who 100 years ago crowded into the inner-city neighbourhoods of Strathcona and Mount Pleasant, are now mainly suburbanites. That's the picture that emerged from 2006 census data released today that showed the proportion of foreign-born residents is at its highest level nationally in 75 years.


Crowds of shoppers hit the stores along Robson Street. Census data shows more than one million immigrants have arrived in Canada in the last five years, settling in a country that is now home to 150 languages and people from more than 200 countries.
Photograph by : Stuart Davis/Vancouver Sun Files


Richmond now has the highest proportion, 57 per cent, of foreign-born residents of any city in Canada. Meanwhile, places like Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam, New Westminster, North Vancouver, and even Abbotsford have immigrant levels ranging from 20 to 50 per cent of their total population.

"That has huge implications for those areas, for the school systems, for services," said Dan Hiebert, the co-director of the research centre Metropolis B.C. "And this is changing the sociocultural nature of the suburbs."

The Statistics Canada numbers - dealing with immigration, language and mobility - confirm what Lower Mainland residents can see and feel all around them. In this region, where 40 per cent of residents were born elsewhere, Iranian specialty stores dot Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver, Korean businesses cluster around North Road in Coquitlam and Sikh temples dominate the skyline in South Fraser Way in Abbotsford and the Newton neighbourhood of Surrey.

Burmese children suddenly appear in Langley schools, African churches populate the New Westminster-Burnaby border and Chinese malls make Richmond look like a flattened-out Hong Kong.

And there's likely more of that to come, say experts.

Immigrants are moving to the suburbs for two reasons. One is that, like most groups, they move to places where they have friends and family.

"It's the snowball effect," said University of B.C. geographer David Ley. "Once there are a few people in one place, others will stick to them."

That's why many mainland Chinese newcomers, the province's biggest immigrant group of the past five years, are moving to Richmond or Coquitlam, why people from India, the second-largest, are joining those they already know in Surrey and Abbotsford, and those from the Philippines (group number three) are clustering in Vancouver and Richmond.

The other reason for the suburbanization of immigration is the cost of housing, say Ley and Hiebert. Poor immigrants are moving to where they can get affordable housing. The map of their clusters is a map to the cheap apartments of the Lower Mainland: Marpole in south Vancouver; the Kingsway corridor in Vancouver and Burnaby; central Surrey.

"This is really the other side of gentrification," said Ley. "Where [gentrifiers] are now is where immigrants aren't any more, like Kitsilano, Fairview, Commercial Drive."

And better off immigrants who are a step up the ladder and want to buy property - something they push for and achieve at greater rates than Canadian-born residents do - also find the suburbs help them achieve that dream more easily. The changes have prompted school boards and city councils to scramble to adapt.

In Surrey this morning, while the Statistics Canada officials were releasing their numbers, Mayor Dianne Watts was holding a meeting with all the groups who deal with her city's refugee population.

Surrey has the largest number of refugees of any city in B.C., about 3,500, and that's just one component of its huge jump in foreign-born residents, also the biggest jump of any city in B.C.

"I brought together some people who are trying to pull services together, just to get a handle on the situation," said Watts.

She said Surrey is struggling to cope with the impact on the school system of a flood of students who have lived in refugee camps all their life and getting stuck in grades according to their age even though they've never been to school before.

In Coquitlam, Mayor Maxine Wilson, who started a multicultural committee a year ago, is pulling groups together to try to create a more immigrant-welcoming place. This week, the Soroptomist Club there is holding a multicultural women's meeting to help newcomers talk about barriers to getting jobs.

On Saturday, an environmentalist and a journalist from the city's Mandarin-speaking community will present Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, subtitled in Mandarin, at a special show in council chambers.

"We're working on building reception, just breaking down the silos and getting people together," said Wilson.

The new demographics have transformed the Lower Mainland into a different country from the rest of B.C. There, with a few quirky exceptions like Kitimat or Qualicum Beach, the percentage of foreign-born residents in cities from Prince George to Revelstoke to Powell River is not just low but has actually declined in the past five years.

To some, it may appear as though Canada's major cities are in danger of being overwhelmed by immigration, with Toronto now consisting of 48 per cent foreign-born residents. But, in fact, the country hasn't yet even come close to its immigration levels of 100 years ago.

In the early years of the 20th century, Canada accepted more immigrants, proportionally, than any other country in the world. In three years, 1911, 1912, and 1913, it took in respectively 331,000 immigrants, then 376,000, then 401,000 as it enthusiastically worked to populate the Canadian West.

Those numbers have been unmatched any year since, even though the country's population has quadrupled. If Canada were to take in the same proportion of immigrants today, it would see 4.6 million newcomers in the next three years. Instead, levels have been averaging around 250,000 per year.

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/n...c20ca2&k=81405
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  #2  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2007, 7:44 AM
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We aren't more multi-cultural than those cities. Taking a look at that picture you see one predominant race. Asian. We have a large asian population, and a sizable east indian population. Thats it. Hardly Multi.
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Old Posted Dec 5, 2007, 2:03 PM
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Asian isn't a culture, it's a continent.
You see Asian, I see Hong Kongers, Taiwanese, Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese, Mainland Chinese, Burmese, Malaysian, Mongolian, Cambodian etc. All of these countries have very different cultures and languages from one another, and they all have sizable populations in Metro Vancouver.
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Old Posted Dec 5, 2007, 4:40 PM
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^ Exactly, Asia is comprised of 100s of different cultures,religions, and languages.
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Old Posted Dec 5, 2007, 5:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giallo View Post
Asian isn't a culture, it's a continent.
You see Asian, I see Hong Kongers, Taiwanese, Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese, Mainland Chinese, Burmese, Malaysian, Mongolian, Cambodian etc. All of these countries have very different cultures and languages from one another, and they all have sizable populations in Metro Vancouver.

I knew someone would post this right away. Obviously I know "Asian" is comprised of all these various people. Also, "Asian" is a group of people, not a continent. Still, they all come from the same geographic part of the world and share similar charcateristics, and when it comes down to it, are basically the same race. Even when you break it down into every little sub-group and country that asians possibly come from - I still disagree that Vancouver is more multi-cultural. Where are the sizable Black, Latino, Greek, Italian populations that New York City has in addition to Middle Easterners and Asians?
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Old Posted Dec 5, 2007, 5:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giallo View Post
Asian isn't a culture, it's a continent.
You see Asian, I see Hong Kongers, Taiwanese, Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese, Mainland Chinese, Burmese, Malaysian, Mongolian, Cambodian etc. All of these countries have very different cultures and languages from one another, and they all have sizable populations in Metro Vancouver.
Indeed, and mainland china is also composed of distinct regions/dialects/cultures and even ethnic groups (aside from Han Chinese)
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Old Posted Dec 5, 2007, 5:55 PM
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Still the same general group of people. If you have 15 different asian cultures living in one area, sure technically it is multi-cultural, but not really. Im sure nobody would consider a city of mostly white people multi-cultural even though they make up people from England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Norway, Holland, Poland etc...
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Old Posted Dec 5, 2007, 6:17 PM
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fuck that, they be all white Europeans, just like Asians are all Asians!

Obviously we are basing multi-cultural off what we see and not what the cultures actually are.
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Old Posted Dec 5, 2007, 6:19 PM
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Originally Posted by westcoast604 View Post
Still the same general group of people. If you have 15 different asian cultures living in one area, sure technically it is multi-cultural, but not really. Im sure nobody would consider a city of mostly white people multi-cultural even though they make up people from England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Norway, Holland, Poland etc...
Multi-cultural and multi-racial aren't the same thing.
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Old Posted Dec 5, 2007, 10:35 PM
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i think someone secretly harbours racist views
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Old Posted Dec 5, 2007, 10:38 PM
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^Im aware of that, Cambridgite.

I think its pretty fair to say that Vancouver is not more multi-cultural than New York because New York has a much larger variety of cultures, compared to Vancouver's collection which tend to come from Asian countries.
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Old Posted Dec 5, 2007, 10:43 PM
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where i live there are iranians, africans, yuogoslavians, romanians, ontarians and koreans all in one building

just up the street is an eastern european grocery store which sells russian &
polish etc stuff and across the street from that is a Persian grocery store - and further up is another persian shop next to a korean run store etc etc

maybe vancouver doesn't have the huge numbers that new york has but it certainly has the various cultures
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Old Posted Dec 5, 2007, 10:50 PM
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Wow. Ground-breaking observation there. It's pretty obvious that we likely have people from any culture you can think of living here. That's not the point of the article. The argument is that Vancouver is more multi-cultural. I argue that our percentages of every other culture - besides those from asian backgrounds - is likely significantly lower than that of New York.
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Old Posted Dec 5, 2007, 11:04 PM
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I agree, Metro Vancouver is more "tri-cultural" than it is actually multicultural. At least it's not as bad as Miami...although Richmond could be soon
Look at this chart (keep in mind most people in BC live in Metro Vancouver, so it's pretty much right on):

Source: wikipedia
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Old Posted Dec 5, 2007, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by SpongeG View Post
where i live there are iranians, africans, yuogoslavians, romanians, ontarians and koreans all in one building
I didn't know Ontarians were an immigrant group.
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Old Posted Dec 5, 2007, 11:20 PM
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^haha.

Im tired of mass-media, such as the vancouver sun, constantly mis-representing facts like this.

Quote:
Metro Vancouver is now more multicultural than Miami, Los Angeles or New York City.
Should just say: now has a higher percentage of foriegn-born residents than...

A good example of why i dont read this paper. Its reporters are hardly credible on any issue.
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Old Posted Dec 5, 2007, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westcoast604 View Post
Obviously I know "Asian" is comprised of all these various people. Also, "Asian" is a group of people, not a continent. Still, they all come from the same geographic part of the world and share similar charcateristics, and when it comes down to it, are basically the same race.
damn, westcoast, you crack me up. so according to your logic there's four 'cultures' on this planet - white, black, browns & yellows.

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Originally Posted by westcoast604 View Post
Where are the sizable Black, Latino, Greek, Italian populations that New York City has in addition to Middle Easterners and Asians?
clumping together the asian cultures is basically the same thing as clumping together all the european cultures. you wouldn't clump together greeks, italians, portuguese, and swedes, etc are all one culture would you? you must be on crack man.

Quote:
Originally Posted by westcoast604 View Post
I argue that our percentages of every other culture - besides those from asian backgrounds - is likely significantly lower than that of New York.
and why exactly does that matter? in any multicultural society there's bound to be a predominance of 2 or 3 cultures, followed by a large splattering of small populations of cultures. asians are to vancouver, as blacks are to new york.
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Old Posted Dec 6, 2007, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by westcoast604 View Post
Wow. Ground-breaking observation there. It's pretty obvious that we likely have people from any culture you can think of living here. That's not the point of the article. The argument is that Vancouver is more multi-cultural. I argue that our percentages of every other culture - besides those from asian backgrounds - is likely significantly lower than that of New York.
well the result is based on numbers from the census and its the numbers from that thate are proving we have more

so unless people lied when filling out the census...
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Old Posted Dec 6, 2007, 12:56 AM
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I didn't know Ontarians were an immigrant group.
i was making a joke

but really people from ontario are a totally different species
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Old Posted Dec 6, 2007, 1:09 AM
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Originally Posted by zivan56 View Post
I
Look at this chart (keep in mind most people in BC live in Metro Vancouver, so it's pretty much right on):

Not at all my friend, in fact not even half of BC residents live in Metro Vancouver, and the interior regions tend to be predominantly white and indegious so that chart in no way represents Vancouver.

I think Vancouver is quite multcultural, and there are certainly more than just asians, whites and East Indians represented here. I know that the area I live in, the north shore, has a massive number of persians and arabs, more than most other cities outside of the middle east. Burnaby is also heavily populated by slavic and eastern Europeans, who are culturally quite different than your average 'wasp'.

Although I dont think that Vancouver is quite as multicultural as New York, we do have a very diverse and multicultural society, rivaling many other major cities around the world... perhaps not the most multicultural, but its right up there thats forsure.
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