Fondé en 1983 --Unis pour la diversité et l'égalité raciale


Montreal, May 6, 2018 — The City's decision to install a public toilet in the Sun Yat Sen Park in the heart of Chinatown, without community consultation, is a sign of disrespect for the Chinese community and Chinatown businesses and residents, said a group of Chinese merchants.

Last month, the City decided, without notice, to install the public toilet and closed off a section of the small Park. The toilet will be eventually installed in the Pavilion. Construction makes it impossible for local residents to enjoy the park, the only open space with a few small trees located at the corner of Clarke and De La Gauchetière West. It is also a space often used by community groups for tai chi exercises and cultural events.

“We're very upset that city authorities unilaterally decided to install a public toilet in the Pavilion without consulting the community,” said Wilson Wong, President of the Chinese Association of Montreal (CAM). “Our local Councillor Robert Beaudry did not inform us of this decision. In fact, we've never seen him.”

Beaudry is the City Councillor for the Saint-Jacques district, which includes Chinatown. He is also the Executive Committee member in charge of commercial and economic development.

“Our seniors and other local residents are suddenly deprived of the only park there is in Chinatown. This is very insensitive and disrespectful of Chinatown merchants and residents,” said Johnny Chin, owner of Dragon Candy, a store located near the Park. “Many are also offended by seeing a public toilet imposed on a pavilion to honor the 'Father of the Nation' and the founding father of the Republic of China, Sun Yat Sen.”

Many fear that construction work will go on till July, preventing the community from holding events in spring and early summer.

“We want the City and Councillor Beaudry to meet with Chinatown merchants and residents, first to explain why we were never consulted, and second, to discuss what to do with the fact that our community is now deprived of the full use of the Park till who knows when,” Bryant Chang, Vice-President of CAM, said. “We want full access to our Park as soon as possible”.

“Montreal's Chinatown is being threatened by high taxes, reduced space, aging buildings, lack of green space and growing evidence of urban decay,” said Bill Lam Wong, secretary of the Sun Yat Sen Park Foundation. “The City's top-down decision to install the toilet stinks.”

“We want Montreal to be an inclusive city and adopt an inclusive urban development approach that respects ethnic diversity, and to listen to and consult with the Chinatown community in a more respectful manner,” Wong added.

Chinatown merchants and residents are also mobilizing to collect signatures for the petition for a public consultation on systemic racism and discrimination, launched by CRARR and many individuals and community groups.