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A Green Party Vancouver city councillor moved a motion that would require Mayor Ken Sim to acknowledge his family’s colonial and settler roots.

Except there’s one catch – Sim is a second-generation immigrant born to parents from Hong Kong. 

According to the “anti-racism and decolonization education” motion before the Standing Committee on Policy and Strategic Priorities, Councillor Pete Fry wants to mandate anti-racism education for the city’s leadership. 

Fry is the son of Vancouver Centre Liberal MP Hedy Fry. 

“The City of Vancouver is open with its commitment to anti-racism, decolonization, reconciliation and dismantling white supremacy,” reads the motion. 

According to Fry, the motion was presented by him in his role as the liaison for the Cultural Equity Advisory Committee. 

“In my own opinion, reconciliation is the recognition and repair of harms to indigenous people as a result of colonization and oppression,” Fry told True North.

“Decolonization is a larger framework that recognizes harms resulting from colonization. So while Ken Sim’s is a settler family (ie non-indigenous) his family also suffered legacies of colonialism and historic white supremacy.”

The councillor also stated that he doesn’t believe the motion was about “assigning blame or guilt.” 

“It’s about learning and understanding historic inequities,” said Fry.

Fry requests that anti-racism training be introduced for the mayor and City Council that addresses the “distinctions between decolonization and reconciliation.”

Furthermore, Fry is demanding that the mayor and councillors acknowledge “their settler land acknowledgement/colonial stories on how they came to this land dating back to the first settler from their family history.” 

Funding for the proposed education sessions would come from the mayor’s and councillors’ travel and training expense budgets. 

According to Sim, his parents immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong in 1967 following a period of upheaval. 

Three of Sim’s older siblings were also born in Hong Kong, while Sim was born in Vancouver in 1970.

True North reached out to Sim to ask if he would support the motion but did not receive a response.