Pe­ti­tion push on Nan­jing bill

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By NA LI in Toronto

One piece of World War II his­tory will not go for­got­ten, not if some peo­ple get their way.

To sup­port Bill 79, which es­tab­lishes an of­fi­cial Nan­jing Mas­sacre day of com­mem­o­ra­tion, Toronto AL­PHA along with the Chi­nese com­mu­nity an­nounced a drive to get 100,000 sig­na­tures on a pe­ti­tion across On­tario this week.

The Nan­jing Mas­sacre Com­mem­o­ra­tive Day Act, pro­posed by MPP Soo Wong, passed its sec­ond read­ing last De­cem­ber in the On­tario Leg­is­la­ture.

“Bill 79 is a very im­por­tant move­ment. It’s the first bill to rec­og­nize the Nan­jing Mas­sacre in the West­ern Hemi­sphere,” Joseph Wong, founder of Toronto AL­PHA, said at a press con­fer­ence on Mon­day.

“It’s a very im­por­tant his­toric event that needs com­mem­o­ra­tion,” Wong added. “Canada will be the first West­ern coun­try to rec­og­nize it as a true event..”

MP Shaun Chen, who moved the mo­tion to be passed by the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) as a trus­tee at TDSB in 2008, re­called his feel­ing when he first saw the docu­d­rama Iris Chang, The Rape of Nan­jing pro­duced by AL­PHA.

“I was so blown away. Be­cause I am a Chi­nese Cana­dian, I was born here in Canada, but when I went to the pub­lic school, I never learned this his­tory,” Chen said.

“To me it’s not right. Be­cause when you teach his­tory, you should teach the whole his­tory, you can­not just se­lect the his­tory to teach,” said Chen.

Bill 79 still needs a big step for­ward to pass the third read­ing be­fore com­ing into force. There are still a cou­ple of hur­dles to get past, Soo Wong told China Daily at a gath­er­ing hosted by the Chi­nese Cana­dian Po­lit­i­cal Ac­tion Com­mit­tee of On­tario on Satur­day.

“First it is a pri­vate mem­ber bill,” said Wong. “Nor­mally, a pri­vate mem­ber bill is harder to get passed; sec­ondly, the Ja­panese com­mu­nity doesn’t sup­port my bill, they think it is di­vid­ing the com­mu­nity, which is not true. This bill is about the truth.”

NA LI / CHINA DAILY

Joseph Wong (left), founder of Toronto AL­PHA, along with guests (from left) MPP Soo Wong, MPP Ray­mond Cho, MP Shaun Chen, an­nounce the 100,000 sig­na­ture pe­ti­tion cam­paign across On­tario on Mon­day in Toronto.

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