3 Asian Canadians appointed to new BC Liberal Cabinet: Ida Chong, John Yap and Naomi Yamamoto

Ida Chong, John Yap and Naomi Yamamoto were all appointed to BC Cabinet, creating the largest Asian representation ever, along with  Kash Heed who is South Asian.

NY-CabinetSwearingIn131_media.jpg


Naomi Yamamoto, the first Japanese-Canadian, is sworn into the new BC Cabinet on June 10th 2009, by Hon. Steven Point, the first Aboriginal BC Lt. Governor.

Ida Chong (Oak Bay)
Minister of Healthy Living and Sport.

Chong is the first Canadian born Chinese-Canadian BC MLA.  Previously she had been minister
of small business, technology and economic development and minister
responsible for the Asia-Pacific Initiative in the last term.  I first met Ida at the BC Community Achievement Awards last April.  In August, Ida and I were two of 16 BCers voted into the BC Royal Museum's “The Party” display for the “Free Spirit” exhibit celebrating the 150th Anniversary of BC.  see:
Royal BC Museum invites 6 new people to “The Party”


John Yap
(Richmond Steveston)
Minister of State for Climate Action.

Yap was born in Singapore.  He has been active with many community organizations.  Our paths have crossed with his support of the Chinese Canadian veterans of Pacific Unit 280.


Naomi Yamamoto
(North Vancouver Lonsdale)
Minister of State for Intergovernmental Relations.

The first ever Japanese-Canadian MLA in BC.  Naomi's parents had been interned during WW2.  She beat out Don Bell, the former North Vancouver District Mayor and Member Parliament for the constituency nomination.  Active in the North Shore community, she has been president and manager of the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce for the past 2 years, and has also previously been chair of the BC Chamber of Commerce.  While I've never met Naomi, I have known her sister Donna for many years through her theatre work.

Kash Heed
(Vancouver Fraserview)
Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General

Heed is a Simon Fraser University alumnus where he
completed his BA and MA at Simon Fraser University part-time.  Formerly with the Vancouver Police Department, he was appointed Chief of the West Vancouver Police Department in 2007.  While with the Vancouver Police, he was also head of the drug
squad, led the Indo-Canadian gang task force and launched the COMPSTAT
system, using computer technology to track crime.

Missing cabinet after winning 3 straight election is Richard T. Lee (Burnaby North).

I'll try to identify the Scottish-Canadians appointed to cabinet – but it's a harder task because the while Mac's are usually Scottish and Mc's are usually Irish, they are sometimes interchanged.  Many Scottish-Canadians don't necessarily disclose their Scottish ancestry because Scots have long been part of BC's mainstream political culture and history.  First BC Governor James Douglas' father was Scottish, even though Douglas himself was born in Guyana to a mother who was a Free Black.  Current BC Premier Gordon Campbell claims Scottish ancestry, though I have yet to find a picture of him wearing a kilt.

See links:

Canadian Press: List of BC cabinet ministers

Vancouver Sun: New cabinet to secure BC's economic, fiscal, environmental and …

North Shore Outlook – Rookie MLA Yamamoto earns seat on cabinet

Georgia Straight: Vancouver tops the charts in Premier Gordon Campbell's cabinet

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