Recent Updates:

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 3, 2020

MLARA Statement on George Floyd’s Tragic Death

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Members of the Maple Leafs Anti-Racism Actions Association (MLARA) have been deeply distressed by the tragic and unnecessary death of George Floyd. Our hearts go out to him, his loved ones and all members of communities who are heartbroken by the death of George Floyd as the result of violence and unfair treatment.   

In Canada, our communities have experienced increasing levels of discrimination and racially motivated violence towards people of Chinese and Asian ethnicity over the past few months. These acts of hate have no place in Canada, whether directed against Asian Canadians, or anyone else based on the ethnicity or the colour of their skin.

We call on our federal, provincial, and local elected officials to urgently address racism, discrimination and racially motivated violence against all Canadians, especially those of colour, and to deliver concrete solutions. We respect and support the vigorous exercise of rights and free expression that are protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but condemn acts of spreading mistrust, hatred, and violence towards Canadians of any ethnicity and heritage.

Members of the MLARA join with our friends of all colours to fight against racism and end hate crimes. Together we can build a better Canada where none will live in the fear of racially-charged hate and injustice.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 1, 2020

MLARA setting the record straight

VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Maple Leafs Anti-Racism Actions Association (MLARA) has issued a public statement to set the record straight.  Media reports that appeared in several recent television and print outlets have failed to present the complete truth about our association and the motive of our actions. 

We regret the action of one of our supporters had caused difficulties for Minister Joyce Murray and the Prime Minister. Our supporter’s action was driven by her deep frustration that the Chinese-Canadian community has been maligned by a news report that appeared on Global News on April 30, 2020.  We stand by her action and the content of her WeChat post.

Our intention is pure. We support the freedom of the press and the important work of our journalists. We only ask that news reports be balanced, accurate and factual, reports that do not portray “Every overseas Chinese is a warrior” for the People’s Republic of China but “Every overseas Chinese is a warrior in the battle against the pandemic”.

We have faith in our press corps and we appeal to their professionalism to help us to set the record straight.

The public statement is attached.

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About Maple Leafs Anti-Racism Actions Association (MLARA)

MLARA is a not-for-profit society formed by a group of Canadians and permanent residents. The association was registered under the BC Societies Act on May 14, 2020 under incorporation number S0073177.

One of the purposes of our society is to fight against racism and end hate crimes in Canada.

Membership of MLARA consists of Canadians who felt unfairly portrayed in an April 30th 2020 Global News report by Mr. Sam Cooper.

Website: www.mlara.org

CONTACTS:

Name: Mr. Jason Xie, Spokesperson
Maple Leafs Anti-Racism Actions Association Cell: 604-763-5528 E-mail: jxie@mlara.org
Name: Mr. Ivan Pak, President
Maple Leafs Anti-Racism Actions Association Cell: 778-882-8134 E-mail: ipak@mlara.org

A public statement by

Maple Leafs Anti-Racism Actions Association (MLARA)

Date: June 1, 2020

We would like to set the record straight about several recent media reports that have failed to present the complete truth about our association and the motive of our actions.

These media reports were touched off by an appeal posted by one of our supporters on a WeChat group that is used by Minister Murray as a tool to stay in touch with the Chinese-Canadian community.

We regret the WeChat post had caused difficulties for Minister Murray and Prime Minister Trudeau.

The post was an appeal authorized by MLARA and we stand by its content. Our supporter’s action was driven by her deep concern and frustration about the portrayal of the Chinese-Canadian community as agents of a foreign country. The portrayal appeared in a Global News report filed by Mr. Sam Cooper on April 30, 2020. We share her feeling. A detail account of our objections to the report can be found in our previous Public Statement issued on May 27, 2020.

Mr. Trudeau was quoted by a CBC report that “he values the work journalists do right across the country”. Minister Murray, in the same CBC report, was quoted to have told the House that “muzzling journalists is never acceptable”.

MLARA couldn’t have agreed with PM Trudeau and Minster Murray more.  Indeed, in our public statement issued on May 27, we said: “As Canadians, we know the important work of media across the country.  We are not attacking the integrity of Mr. Sam Cooper or calling him a racist.”  We further stated in the same public statement that: “We are exploring the option of whether to take legal action against Mr. Sam Cooper and Global News not because we want to silence them.” 

We hope that Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Murray would contact MLARA and hear what we have to say and the concern that we have about Mr. Cooper’s report.  We are Canadians and not some puppets of a foreign power as Mr. Cooper’s article wants readers to believe. Chinese-Canadians are Canadians.

Mr. Cooper’s report, either intentionally or un-intentionally mischaracterized Chinese-Canadians’ humanitarian efforts to support their relatives in China as some sinister actions taken on behalf of a secretive foreign agency.

What we are asking is simple. We would like to see a balanced, accurate and factual report from Global News.  A report that does not portray “Every overseas Chinese is a warrior” for the PRC but “Every overseas Chinese is a warrior in the battle against the pandemic”. A report that also includes the many contributions Chinese-Canadians have made to local communities to fight COVID-19.  We do not believe asking Global News to abide by its own journalistic principles and practices is too much of an ask.

As Canadians, we know this is a country made up of fair minded people.  As consumers of Canadian news, we know our journalists are professionals who want to do their best to expose dangers to our country.  Sowing mistrust towards the Chinese-Canadian community in the minds of the general public is a danger to the harmony and  multiculturalism of our country.

We also know that Canadians want to know the truth. We are appealing to our journalists and fair minded news outlet editors to help us to set the record straight. 

Background Information

Attachments:

  1. MLARA public statement issued on May 27, 2020
  2. Appeal posted by one of our supporters, on Minister Murray’s WeChat group

Weblinks:

Globe & Mail Report: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-trudeau-vows-to-look-into-report-that-ministers-account-promoted/

Toronto Star: https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2020/05/26/global-news-defends-journalist-against-what-it-calls-effort-to-discredit-reporting-on-beijing-covid-19-masks.html

CBC Report: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/joyce-murray-we-chat-law-suit-china-1.5585854

Global News: https://globalnews.ca/news/6986602/joyce-murray-wechat-china-lawsuit/

Mr. Sam Cooper’s report: Archived version: https://www.evernote.com/shard/s166/sh/d0371cac-6ae9-45f7-ac03-22d363d893c5/45dca1ac50dc6e624c95e60a09a07242 

MLARA’s Public statement on May 27, 2020:

A public statement by

Maple Leafs Anti-Racism Actions Association (MLARA)

Date: May 27, 2020

We are a not-for-profit society formed by a group of Canadians and permanent residents. The association was registered under the BC Societies Act on May 14, 2020 under incorporation number S0073177.

One of the purposes of our society is to fight against racism and end hate crimes in Canada.

The society was formed by a group of people who felt they were unfairly portrayed in a report written by Mr. Sam Cooper that appeared on Global News on April 30, 2020.

While the central thrust of the report was about the People’s Republic of China, the Communist Party of China, and the United Front Work Department of the PRC, the use of a provocative graphic and an inaccurately translated caption conveyed a damaging portrayal of Overseas Chinese and Canadians of Chinese descent.

Mr. Cooper’s report, either intentionally or un-intentionally mischaracterized Chinese-Canadians’ humanitarian efforts to support their relatives in China as some sinister actions taken on behalf of a secretive foreign agency.

As Canadians, we know the important work of media across the country.  We are not attacking the integrity of Mr. Sam Cooper or calling him a racist.  What we are trying to do, however, is to point out that Mr. Cooper’s report, in tone and effect, has created an impression on the report’s readers and viewers that Chinese-Canadians had, on the order of a foreign country, bought up critical medical supplies to the detriment of Canadians.

One of the most critical aspect of Mr. Cooper’s report concerning the alleged actions of a Chinese-Canadian organization was based on a report published by Xinhua in Chinese. Mr. Cooper admitted in his article that Global News had not independently verified its content. 

Mr. Cooper’s report used a caption taken from the Xinhua report but had it inaccurately translated.  We believe this mistake, together with the use of an unverified foreign report mentioned in paragraph 7 above, demonstrated that Mr. Cooper’s report fell short of Global News’ own principles and practices of “reporting news without distortion or misrepresentation” as well as “getting it right.”

We believe what Mr. Cooper’s article, intentionally or un-intentionally had sow mistrust and dare we say, hatred on the minds of Canadians towards Canadians of Asian heritage.  We have noticed a sharp increase in hate crimes and verbal harassment towards Asian Canadians.  We firmly believe that the type of biased and unbalanced portrayal of Chinese-Canadians by Mr. Cooper has to be stopped.

An independent journalist and who is unaffiliated with our association, Mr. Weng Hoong Ng had written to the Global News complaining Mr. Sam Cooper’s report.  As a result of his action, Global News had removed the offending graphic but has not amended the mis-characterization of the actions of Chinese-Canadians or mention the positive contributions of Chinese-Canadians towards Canada’s efforts to fight the pandemic.

We are, therefore, asking Mr. Cooper and Global News to retract the portion of the report that deals with Chinese-Canadians and to apologize to the Chinese-Canadian community.

We are exploring the option of whether to take legal action against Mr. Sam Cooper and Global News not because we want to silence them.  We are doing so because we genuinely felt we were being maligned by Mr. Cooper’s report.

We expect that some Canadians of Chinese heritage may not feel the same way as we do towards Mr. Cooper’s report.  The Chinese-Canadian community is not a monolithic community but rather a complex one. We do not claim to represent the entire Chinese-Canadian community.

We are committed to the Canadian value of freedom of the press and we regret that we have to take this action to protect our community’s image and integrity. 

We offer our apologies to Minister Joyce Murray for the inadvertent action of one of our overly enthusiastic members who posted a funding appeal in a WeChat group of Ms. Murray’s supporters. But her actions demonstrated her deep concern about Mr. Cooper’s unbalanced article and her feeling is shared by all of us at MLARA.  

CONTACTS: 

Name: Mr. Jason Xie,
Spokesperson
Maple Leafs Anti-Racism Actions Association
Cell: 604-763-5528
mail: jxie@mlara.org
Name: Mr. Ivan Pak,
President
Maple Leafs Anti-Racism Actions Association
Cell: 778-882-8134
mail: ipak@mlara.org

Background Information

MLARA website: www.mlara.org

Mr. Sam Cooper’s report: Achieved version: https://www.evernote.com/shard/s166/sh/d0371cac-6ae9-45f7-ac03-22d363d893c5/45dca1ac50dc6e624c95e60a09a07242 

Mr. Sam Cooper’s report: Revised version: https://globalnews.ca/news/6858818/coronavirus-china-united-front-canada-protective-equipment-shortage/

Mr. Weng Hoong Ng’s initial complaint letter: http://www.onepacificnews.com/2020/05/05/global-news-published-anti-chinese-hate-speech/

Global News Respond to Mr. Ng’s letter: http://www.onepacificnews.com/2020/05/25/global-newss-reply-to-my-open-letter-of-complaint/

Mr. Weng Hoong Ng’s second complaint letter: http://www.onepacificnews.com/2020/05/25/global-newss-reply-to-my-open-letter-of-complaint/