TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate Katrina Chen (陳葦蓁) and fellow candidate Anne Kang (康安禮) made history on May 9 when both became the first Taiwan-born members of British Columbia’s legislative assembly.
The moment was of pride and honor for the Taiwanese immigrant communities residing mainly in Vancouver, Burnaby, and Richmond.
Both are serving different Burnaby communities after a contested election which ousted the ruling British Columbia Liberal Party after 16 years in power.
Chen was also offered a post in NDP leader John Horgan’s cabinet as the minister of state for childcare and Kang was designated as parliamentary secretary for seniors.
Chen was born in Taiwan but moved to Canada in 2000 when she was 17 years old to focus on subjects she excelled at.
After graduation, Chen worked for non-profit organizations and concentrated her attention on gender equality and human rights issues. She worked for the organization ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), rallying support for issues like homelessness, community cleanliness, and poverty.
She became familiar with area politicians and worked as a constituency assistant under federal as well as provincial officials through local Taiwanese connections.
Her contemporary, Kang, was born in 1977 in Changhua County to a preschool teacher mother and a father serving as the local church pastor. Kang was brought up as a devout Christian and her life revolved around the church.
Chen and Kang have established a friendship around their demanding roles as young mothers.