Hello VIB readers:
I had a short summer break from writing new posts. I am currently teaching two courses and am finishing a third job as a law student supervisor in Allard’s law student legal advice program.
I will (hopefully) turn my attention back to trying to understand how to make my practice more sustainable in the new age of digital COVID, and add a few more tools to my toolbox (a real critical race) theoretical lens / possibly tap a few more economic streams to balance the heavy litigation / H&C work). I look forward to it. I’ve always been “busy” to be busy so it is quite difficult for me to gain time to think, but it is this time that I believe is so important to me right now.
August and September are also around the corner to resolve some issues.
In this post I wanted to share three things.
1) New blog post;
First, I wrote a new blog post. I’ve been thinking a lot about judicial reviews lately and analyzing my own experience with the recent case of S against Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness), 2020 FC 718. I read Justice Favel’s decision in Ouansa v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration),2020 FC 632.
The post is available Here.
2) News on Vancouver Immigration Blog
After more than 5 years I’m finally doing a major overhaul of the Vancouver Immigration Blog. I am working with a local website / business development company to rebuild my website, make it more navigable and accessible. It’s probably the biggest investment I’ve made in my online presence since blogging. I look forward to it and hope it leads to more creative content.
3) About laws, regulations and enforcement
I had a very interesting long weekend. I went to the Sunshine Coast to do some fishing. I didn’t realize how big the Filipino / Vietnamese / and Chinese diaspora and tourist community are there. Fishing (it turns out) is a social hangout. There is a very interesting place in Davis Bay by the pier. Half of it is devoted to swimming, mostly local children jumping into the water from incredible heights. The other half is for fishing, mostly Filipino families gathering and sharing knowledge and stories. Recently this location has come under fire as the local Davis Bay community tried to regulate an end to fishing on the pier.
Overfishing is certainly a problem. I’ve seen some very bad practices – including fishermen who took the lives of two sharks as bait. Others openly opposed the ban on crabs after dark. I was grateful that some local members of the Filipino community (who lived there) made sure that the regulations were emphasized. At the same time, I couldn’t help but believe that an outright ban (mostly in favor of the non-POC kids who swim and send it off cliffs) also comes from a place of privilege. Several local (wealthier) parishioners own boats that they can use to fish in the ocean and fish for crabs instead of using the pier. However, on the pier, I saw multi-generation families – young adults sharing an activity with their older grandmas and grandpas. Regulations, which from my point of view ultimately strengthen privilege, turn more into a sword than a shield, cut up color communities and assert spatial dominance.
At the same time, I had another experience with BC ferries where every driver was required to wear masks and there were several announcements that anyone who does not socialize in their cars is required to wear a mask. Aside from one other Asian brother, I was arguably the only mask I saw the entire time I boarded and drove the ferry. The staff themselves did not wear masks. Nobody enforced a whole series of non-POCs who had gathered at the front of the boat, did not socialize and did not wear masks. Given the origin of this regulation, I found it ironic that in this case it could easily be ignored or not complied with – with no consequence.
What kind of society are we building in which those who implement policies and regulations (often around the arduous process of legislating) do not want to follow them and do not want to lose their own freedoms, but at the same time introduce the same policies and regulations? to control the freedoms of others for their own benefit.
I am beginning to believe that we need a stronger lens of racial justice in order to articulate the language of the opposition, the language of pointing out the obvious double standards. To show that color blindness was used against POCs in order to maintain white privileges.
Until then, we will continue to find ourselves in a situation where we will defend ourselves against our own and prevail instead of challenging the fundamentals and improving them more equitably.
Lots of me chew on this long BC weekend.
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