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Asia Pacific case study

Page history last edited by Kristina Ong 10 years, 8 months ago








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How do we put Asia on the mental map of Canadians?


Professor Paul Evans, a “recovering foundation official” now an instructor in UBC, makes an introduction on the case study.

·      What Canadians are thinking of Asia, and how are they looking at Asia?

·      Addresses it as the “mental map” issue

·      Many Canadians acknowledge Asia, but in the wrong way

     o      Asia is now closer to them than they used to be

     o      Daily presence: food, clothing, etc.

     o      Views are thin, not entirely formulated

·      Government is at the midst of a “full court press”

     o      We need to think what is beyond the “full court”

     o      Strategies with the governments, universities, communities on what to do with that part of the world (Asia) that is changing our global balance 



Pau Woo introduced the term “mental maps”

·      Change the terminology from “mental maps” to “virtual maps”

     o      CBC show last night…….

     o      The coverage of Wikipedia entries was highly uneven

     o      Coverage on Africa and Asia was very scant while those in Europe, USA and North America are vast

     o      Wikipedia is a trusted and ready reference, it represents our way of looking at the world—our “virtual map”

     §       It is inadequate, it does not cover a large part of humanity

     o      We have to be selective of the tools that we use if we want to improve our outlook on the world

·      Bodies of water, connections of the bodies of water represent a kind of image of an ocean that they have had for many years that have instrumented in shaping the history of Canada

     o      Not seen as a barrier or obstacle to connect us to the United States

     o      Those from Ontario see this as a way of linking ourselves to the great force that is the United States and also to European countries

·      “Great lakes” idea:

     o      To think not of the Pacific Ocean as the ocean at the west coast

     o      If we can conquer the great lakes of the east, through making connections by using technology and such surely we can conquer the great lakes of the west


Hank Bull

·      Cultural diversity and biodiversity

·      Canada was one of the architects of the international agreements on multicultural agreement of UNESCO

·      UN: spearheaded by Kofi Annan “We the people”

     o      Who makes the decisions in the UN?

     §       Individual voices, NGOs, etc.

·      How to put Asia on the virtual map of Canadians?

     o      It’s not about Asia, it’s about Canada and its people

     §       Canadians are changing

     §       More people going to Asia, more Asians migrating to Canada, more video games, etc.

     §       Not happening on the political level

     §       In order to change this virtual map, we need to put more Asian representatives on the political sphere

     §       Institutional electives, it is a political issue

·      Grant to commission an artwork

     o      Locative mapping experience of Chinatown and downtown Eastside

     o      Surveying people from those neighborhoods (videos, photographs, to be posted on the internet)

     o      This is one way of putting Asia on Canada’s mental map



Robert Badeski

·      Parallels on Russia vs. China

·      Trade in military weapons, China’s growing hunger on fossil fuels

·      What is security?

     o      Human security as longevity

     o      Prolong life, and postpone death

     o       Layers of human security: Individual, society, and the state

     o      We take the sovereign nation state for granted

     o      In Asia, the sovereign nation state is in a work of progress

     §       China observing Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Mongolia

     o      North Korea a state with maximum national security and abysmal human security

     o      Japan non western industrialization and high human security

·      Social Confucianism

     o      As education is a personal responsibility

     o      Patron client relationship with US

     §       Security dependence at the time of military need vs. Korea 


Eleanor Guerrero-Campbell

·      CEO of the Minerva foundation for BC Women

·      Diverse grassroots organizations

·      People who have migrated “look to home”

·      How to we put Asia, our home, on the mental map of Canadians?

·      Ethnic and geographic diversities are sewn together in a Canadian mosaic

·      Many migrants are isolated to those that are reminiscent and “home-like” from Canadian life

·      Foreign policy: what do Asian-Canadians need to do to improve foreign policy?

     o      What does Canada need?

     o      Decline in population, labor shortage, skilled worker shortage

     o      How can we put Canada on the mental maps of our cultural diversities?

     o      Maybe this question too may help improve diversity


Urban Planning

·      Embodies the sense of how Asia is coming to Vancouver

·      Suburbs transformed by people and capital

An Atlantic Centered Mental Map

·      How much this map controls our thoughts on foreign affairs

·      Represents a legacy

·      Represents Canada in the world

·      Canada formed by immigration in 2008 (from China and the Philippines)

·      Canada accepts 1% of its population in immigrants per year

     o      This is the remarkable change in Canada and somehow cope in it

·      How do you re-center the map?

     o      Look at the side that centers the world from the Pacific Ocean!

     o      Where our immigrants are coming from, where our goods are going

     §       2 Billion dollars in Australia.. More exports in other parts of Asia

     o      Our future is in Southeast Asia

     o      Canadians also migrate to Asia (Hong Kong, Thailand)

     o      Economic, social, cultural opportunity for which Canada can work on this challenge

     o      Bono “the world needs more of Canada”

     o      All countries in the world are facing how their countries are changing

Where a new mental map begins? On the streets

·      Shows photos of Chinatown’s events: Lunar New Year Parade

     o      Embracing our pacific past

·      Contextualizing the last 125 years of Canadian History

     o      Colonialism, racism…

     o      Abomination towards our relationships to the Pacific

     o      Our Asia-Pacific legacy is not new, we have been trading ever since

     §       Simply needs a renewal and reminder



Alden Habacon

·      Conceptually mapping identities of Canadians

·      We are living in our own minds about identities

·      Importance of ethnicity to identity and choosing a spouse

     o      Ethnicity on identity is more important to people

·      People already DO have Asia on their mental maps!

     o      When Asia is going through difficult situations, Canada is also affected

·      Otherwise, what would it take to reach Canadians that don’t have Asia on their mental maps?

     o      Imagination: where the mental maps are rigid or flexible

     §       Will our families have other ethnicities in it?

o      Intermarriages: culturally married as well increasing each spouses’ mental map



·      Asia as the banker for Iraq war shows irony

·      The recession in Asia is not very visible

·      We don’t see stories in media about Canada’s connections with Asia

·      Canada doesn’t have a blank slate as a mental map for Asia

     o      Difficult and deep history

     o      It’s fundamentally confronting and changing our old mental maps

     o      Social-cultural-economic challenge

·      Asia is the “Far East” but is in fact West, “the Orient”

     o      Such Eurocentric terminology that is embedded in our language

·      The US sees China as a threat to world dominance


·      Asians usually come to Canada during high school

     o      They automatically have cliques however it is difficult to move past language and cultural barriers between Canadians and Asians 


·      Difficulties may be solved by generations

     o      Time and patience are vital keys in making a change

·      Public service does not reflect Canadians

     o      Policies and approaches and mental maps are also important for change



·      Urban-Rural divide can show lack of awareness or having Asia on Canada’s mental maps

     o      Experience with Asians can change outlook

     o      How these translates to elections for Asian political representatives

·      To recognize shifts in history in order to change how Asians are seen by Canadians

·      Language barrier: French language barrier in Ottawa

     o      Fundamental shift in our international identity

     o      Richmond: Chinese-French immersion schools are emerging

     §       Because parents want children to be involved in Canadian public service 



·      Relationship between French and English Canada

     o      Inherently nested into this deeper politic of Quebec-French and French –English

     o      Attempt to build a fortification between a sense of identity NOW

     o      Canada is not a mono-cultural state, diversity is part of our identity

     §       Canada: English, French, First Nations

     o      Art galleries with diverse artworks are “cool!”

·      Look deeper into history to find more immigrant history

     o      Interactions, story-telling, reclaiming of history to inform new generations of Canadians 

  •  Where can we find it? Urban areas? In Vancouver? 



What would you do with 100million dollars?


·      Create and Asian gateway/center, but include Canada’s name in the title (CanadAsia?) 

     o      Canada’s Asia is different from American and European Asia

     o      Input from history, media, arts and culture, business and finance, political

     §       Development of leadership

     §       Toronto city summit: develop multicultural leadership

     o      A meeting place: it’s about gathering and bringing people together 



Raising awareness:

·      Commissioning books and films would make a bigger impact in the long run as opposed to cultural events as they make a lasting impression

  • Do more to influence public views on Asia 
  • They speak many languages but the don't speak "public"
  • Consider the electronic world: all of these issues having an e-impact throughout Canada 
    • Maybe investments should be made on internet sites 
    • It is also vital to have a physical space that represents the site
  • Those participating in these ways of awareness are included in creating a step towards global democracy
  • How can we build on it? What can be done? What needs to be done? 
    • Make an effort to change the way people believe 
    • Create an image that captures the eye of the public 
    • We have to have interest and passion for this issue 
  • It's not just about the way Canadians think about Asia, it's also the way Asia thinks of Canada 
    • White Spot in Hong Kong 


Money towards research for NGOs 

Create a foundation that identifies intelligent students in Asian countries, and provide scholarships for them

  • channeling of spreading interest and creating relationships 


Create a new translation: 

  • We have failed in trying to connect these worlds 
  • The Asia-Pacific foundation is a good tool in teaching us on how to "talk better", understand each other better. 
  • Greater encouragement for professors to educate the audience/public


Engage immigration agencies in China for example

  • People who are living here: share pros and cons of their lives in Canada
  • Language classes to help with a transition in immigration


Border problems between provinces:

·      Make Canada more uniform before worrying about others; provincial issues

·      What to do with the money: invest in education

     o      Interaction between people: learning languages to bridge gaps, shared events and new places such as Chinatown and its Lunar New Year

  • Improve curriculum in public and private schools


Is South Asia part of Asia???

·      India and Pakistan is a part of Asia

·      Canada has to be aware with its position in Asia

     o      It is not in the position to dictate anything with Asia as Asia can dictate its position to Canada

     o      Cultural events to raise awareness however it has limits

     o      Possibly by 2020 we wouldn’t be able to recognize the world map 

 ·     Reach out/reach in issue

     o      It’s time that we take the Vancouver experience outward

     §       TV shows?

  •     Canada as a travel destination 



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