Petition push on Nanjing bill
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.”
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.