There are currently eight MPs of East or Southeast Asian background, accounting for 2.4 per cent of all 338 MPs. However, there are nearly 3.2-million people of that background in Canada, accounting for almost 10 per cent of the population.
Asian MPs, clockwise from top: Conservative MP Michael Chong, Conservative MP Alice Wong, NDP MP Anne Minh-Thu Quach, NDP MP Jenny Kwan, Liberal MP Mary Ng, Liberal MP Jean Yip, Liberal MP Shaun Chen, and Liberal MP Geng Tan. There are only eight MPs of East or Southeast Asian background. The Hill Times photographs by Andrew Meade and file photos
When Conservative MP Michael Chong was first elected to the House of Commons in 2004, he was surprised to find out that he was the first-ever MP from Ontario of Chinese background.
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'I think the issue with racialized people not returning to work is more about whether or not they’re going to be hired,' says Arjumand Siddiqi, who holds the Canada Research chair in population health equity.
'If the 10 MPs are articulating the position for Nova Scotia, I would like to think the government would consider that as a strong indicator of what's happening on the ground,' says Liberal MP Darrell Samson says.
House leaders continue to hold talks over the summer, but whether an agreement can be struck to get Conservatives on side with a recent call to allow remote voting in ‘exceptional circumstances’ remains to be seen.
Though late and largely unconvincing, the PM's testimony helps ensure the government’s points, rather than mere speculation, are litigated in the public square instead, says Garry Keller of StrategyCorp.