了解是接受與容忍的第一步，加拿大與香港政府交叉合辦活動。兩年前，在香港舉辦了「加拿大節」，在本地香港加拿大人的支持下，為期五個星期，共有六十個節目。去年秋天加拿大也在五個大城市， 擧辦「香港節」，共一百個節目，從貿易、座談會、到龍舟競賽，流行歌曲、食品大 會、時装展示等等。
「亞洲幫派的問題目前對加拿大來說， 不像美國或者一些其他的國家那麼嚴重，但是我們非常嚴肅的在處理這個問題。」 赫根巴登表示，加拿大許多社區團體，對有組織的犯罪集體試圖在加拿大扎根也密切的注視，並且採取防預措施。
English translation: John Higginbotham Talking about How the Canadian Government Views the Immigrants from Hong Kong (Part 2)
The Government Took Actions to Prevent Gang Members from Entering Canada
Interviewed and reported by Xue Xiaoguang at Hong Kong
“The economic situation in Canada, influenced by the gradual improvement of the US economy, has begun to look up. These last two or three years have been quite difficult for Canada, but this is a normal economic cycle. We expect Canada's economy to rebound very quickly in the short term, and probably by next year, it will be the fastest growing country in the G-7 summit."
The difficulty of finding a job is the pain of many immigrants in Canada. Higginbotham admitted it and said: "It has been very difficult to find a job in Canada in the past two years, especially in the Toronto area, not just for Hong Kong immigrants. Canadians have the same difficulties."
He specifically pointed out that although Canada's economic situation is not very good, Canada does not close the door for immigration like some other countries. As to the issue of discrimination the new immigrants faced, Higginbotham said seriously: "In terms of the large number of Hong Kong immigrants, the cases of discrimination are quite limited." He said that the problem would not be encountered in every country. The government is quite serious about this issue.
Understanding is the first step for acceptance and tolerance. The Canadian and Hong Kong governments hold many events from time to time. Two years ago, the ‘Canada Festival’ was held in Hong Kong. With the support of Canadians in Hong Kong, the event lasted for five weeks and had 60 programs. Last fall, the ‘Hong Kong Festival’ was held in five major cities in Canada, with a total of 100 programs from trade and symposiums, to dragon boat races, pop songs, food exhibits, fashion shows and more.
To avoid discrimination, Higginbotham advised that new immigrants learn English, make friends with local Canadians, and participate in local social and political activities. Doing so not only avoids being discriminated against but also enriches the Hong Kong immigrants’ lives in Canada.
Higginbotham said that it takes time for the immigrants to join mainstream society, which is inevitable. "New immigrants often gather because they have the same background and living habits. They also need time to adjust to the new environment. Therefore, the Canadian government understands that it is important to make new immigrants comfortable. Slowly, they will extend their ‘tentacles’ into the new world."
In addition to the return of some immigrants, Higginbotham also mentioned that the other powerful force linking Hong Kong and Canada is Hong Kong's international students in Canada. Tens of thousands of Hong Kong people who have studied in Canada are currently returning to work in Hong Kong; they work actively in their own industries and organizations, and they also maintain close relationships with Canada. He continued: "When we held the ‘Canada Festival’ in Hong Kong, the people who organized the event were mostly Canadians in Hong Kong. A large number of Hong Kong alumni of Canadian universities contributed greatly."
Higginbotham said “About ten years ago we had taken actions to prevent Triad members from entering Canada. We are still on high alert for them ten years later. In recent news, they mentioned immigrant members of criminal groups. That is not because something specific happened but rather is due to the fact that Canada strengthened the law to prevent any criminal suspect from entering.”
He said that when 30,000 people immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong annually, there will inevitably be a few undesirables who want to join the immigrants. "We work hard and now have more active legislation to exclude these people from immigration."
Dealing with the Problem of Asian Gangs
"The problem of Asian gangs is not as serious for Canada as it is for the United States or some other countries. But we are very serious about dealing with this issue." Higginbotham said that many groups in Canada are closely monitoring and taking precautionary measures to stop attempts from gangs to take root in Canada.
"Interestingly, the Canadian government has stepped up its defense against Hong Kong criminal groups, mainly because of the pressure from Hong Kong immigrants." Higginbotham raised his voice and said: "Many immigrants said that they moved to Canada not only for political and economic reasons, but also because Canada has a good social order. They hope to have laws that safeguard individuals."
Higginbotham said that the Canadian government takes the requests of Hong Kong immigrants seriously. Canadian and the Hong Kong police also cooperate closely to prevent organized crime from taking action.
Since the Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who openly supported the Hong Kong Governor Christopher F. Patten, has resigned, will the Canadian government still hold a supportive attitude to Patten’s plan of political reform?
Higginbotham, representing the Canadian government, said “We support Patten’s plan of political reform not just because the plan is the only feasible one, but because it fits the needs of continuing to improve the democratic process. We believe that this meets the needs of Hong Kong people and the Sino-British Joint Declaration. “
“We believe that improving the democracy in Hong Kong will be helpful in realizing the autonomy of Hong Kong. This is an indispensable condition to maintain the prosperity, stability, and individual freedom and dignity after 1997.”