‘Problematic’ group doesn’t reflect B.C.’s Korean Canadian community: ambassador
Vancouver: South Korea’s top diplomat to Western Canada is encouraging Vancouver’s KoreanCanadian community to take action against a handful of “problematic people’’ involved in a bitter legal battle over the leadership of a Lower Mainland cultural group. Consul General Kie Cheon Lee is speaking out about a long-standing power struggle over who leads the Korean Society of B.C. for Fraternity and Culture, and said the dispute reflects poorly, and unfairly, on the community as a whole. “About 15 to 20 problematic Korean Canadians are damaging the reputation of the entire Korean-Canadian community,’’ said Lee. The society oversees programs for its members, such as English lessons and computer classes, and also hosts social events and sports lessons at its community centre near the Downtown Eastside. Over the years, more than a dozen members of the civic association have volleyed a litany of competing lawsuits against one another, with accusations ranging from libel to embezzlement to fraud. Allegations contained in the series of lawsuits have not been proven in court. The Canadian Press reported late last month about the society’s legal wranglings. Since then, Lee said he has broached the topic three times while speaking at events throughout Metro Vancouver. Korean Canadians feel ashamed about the story reaching mainstream media because it shines a spotlight on divisiveness in the community, he said.