Asian Heritage Month 2021: Recognition, Resilience, and Resolve

According to the 2016 Canadian census, 17.7% of Canadians identify as having Asian roots, and May is dedicated to celebrating them. As we continue to embrace our rich diversity, Asian Heritage Month creates an opportunity to bring attention to the accomplishments of Canadians of Asian descent, and to highlight their contributions to Canada.

This year's theme, Recognition, Resilience, and Resolve, “embodies the myriad of feelings that people of Asian descent have experienced in Canada and honours their diverse contributions and stories that are rooted in resilience and perseverance.” It is also a call to action for all Canadians to unite in the fight against all forms of racism and discrimination against them.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a disconcerting increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in Canada due to the false and racist notions about the spread of COVID-19. CAPE denounces these hateful acts and stands in solidarity with the Asian community.

We encourage our members to stand up for their colleagues and fellow Canadians of Asian descent, and to speak up if they witness discrimination, harassment or violence against them. Canada thrives as a country when we all get together and stand united.

According to a report by several advocacy groups, including the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter, 1,150 cases of racist attacks were reported between March 10, 2020 and February 28, 2021 across Canada. The victims reported being spat and coughed on, and some attacks even involved a violent physical assault and/or unwanted physical contact.

No violence can be tolerated.

Speak up! Reach out to us.

If you are a CAPE member, identify as a Canadian of Asian descent, and feel discriminated against or harassed in the workplace because of your ethnic heritage, know that you have rights.

Contact us for some guidance and to discuss the way forward at We will treat this matter with utmost confidentiality.

Find your CAPE labour relations representative in our directory.

Human rights and racial discrimination

The Canadian Human Rights Act states that “all individuals should have an opportunity equal with other individuals to make for themselves the lives that they are able and wish to have and to have their needs accommodated, consistent with their duties and obligations as members of society, without being hindered in or prevented from doing so by discriminatory practices based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.” Know your rights.

News you can use!

Launching the Network of Asian Federal Employees (NAFE)

In response to the rise of anti-Asian racism and hate crimes in Canada, the Community of Federal Visible Minorities will be launching the newly formed Network of Asian Federal Employees (NAFE). The NAFE will be officially launched on May 26, 2021 to support Asian-Canadian federal public service employees. Check out the previous link to find out more.