Do Chinese millionaires lack faith to a great cause?


Revenues for Canada’s health charity organizations – a significant financial source for Canada’s cancer research -- have been in steep decline in recent years, leaving Canadian cancer society and Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) facing financial crisis. According to media report, despite its aggressive marketing campaigns -- from a flood of news letters to frequent lottery draws, revenues for CCS – mostly from public notions --fell from $215.2 million in 2012 to $180.3 million in 2016, a decline of 16 per cent.  

这一加国慈善组织却未能从人口高居加国五分之一亚裔社区募得足够资金。尽管CCS推出了针对亚裔捐款者的筹款项目Asian Giving Program,但却收效甚微。在过去20年里,该筹款项目仅从亚裔社区募得$700万元,还不到CCS年收入的0.3%。

The charity organization has failed to raise enough funds from the Asian community, which makes up one fifth of Canadian population. One of CCS fundraising programs -- the Asian Giving Program, has targeted Asian Canadian donners. But the effort has borne little fruit. It has raised only $7 million dollars from the community in over two decades, accounting for less than 0.3 per cent of CCS annual revenues. 


Apparently, the amount of donations from the community is significantly disproportionate to its relatively large population. Why does the community not embrace the idea of donating to a great cause seeking a much sought-after cure for the deadly disease? The truth is that the Chinese community never lacks financial resources to support the fight against cancer, the disease that has affected almost everyone in the community. 


Both cancer diagnose rate and death rate have been rising sharply in China, resulting from heavy smog, environment pollutions and food safety issues. According to research from American cancer journal, over four million people in China were diagnosed with cancer in 2015, and nearly three million died from it. Since 2010, cancer has been the leading cause of death in China, with lung cancer causing the most deaths.


Meanwhile, the Chinese community is financially strong. It has grown into an affluent community with massive of wealth pouring in from China in recent years. As Chinese economy churns out an army of billionaires and millionaires each year, a large influx of immigrants has come to Canada bringing in massive amount of wealth and assets. According to MacLean’s, as of 2014, there were 3.6 million Chinese millionaires in the country and by 2016, 100,000 Chinese millionaire immigrants have landed in Canada. Armed with wealth and fortune, they are shopping for high-end products and living a luxury lifestyle in Canada. Furthermore, many well-heeled community members had made large donations to the federal Liberal Party and were active participants of Liberal fundraisers with Trudeau as star attractions.


In 2016, PM Trudeau held more than 80 cash-for-access fundraisers, mostly targeting wealthy Chinese businessmen. Several fundraisers charged an expensive ticket price, ranging from $1500 to $5000 per plate. A wealthy Chinese businessman Zhang Bin who, with a partner, donated $1-million to the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation in 2016. 


Attending Trudeau’s fundraisers could bring immediate benefits. It allowed Chinese tycoons to meet face to face with the most powerful political leader in the Canada, providing opportunities for them to lobby the government on policies that can bring them quick profits or lucrative business deals. 

相比之下,寻找攻克癌症的解码显然是一场艰苦卓绝的持久战。捐款支持癌症研究需要捐款者秉承对某种高尚伟业的纯粹信仰和信念, 且并不能给捐款者带来任何直接收益或快速收益。但不幸的是,大部分华裔社区成员都缺乏这种眼光和信念。

But finding a cure for cancer is a long-term battle. Donating to cancer research is an act of pure faith and belief to a great cause that cannot bring any quick result or immediate benefit to its donors. Unfortunately, many Chinese community members struggle with a lack of such a vision and belief. 

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