The most high profile Canadian interracial marriage is that of NDP leader Jack Layton and MLA Olivia Chow who married on July 9, 1988. It was not difficult to see that the two who work alongside each other, are truly in love. Theirs was an equal partnership in all aspects. While Olivia Chow may look considerably younger than Jack Layton, their age difference is really only 7 years which is not much by today’s standard.
How They Met
Layton first met Olivia Chow in 1985, during an auction at Village by the Grange, in which Jack was the auctioneer and Olivia was the translator for the Cantonese language observers. They had been previously acquainted, however, they realized that they were both candidates in the upcoming election and decided to have lunch together to talk about the campaign. Three weeks after the auction, they went on their first date. Chow went on a pre-arranged canoeing trip, with three other men, and spent a weekend at a cottage then moved in together. Olivia’s Mother did not approve of Jack, at first, because of his race as well as his not being a lawyer or doctor. Jack was invited to dinner at the home of Olivia’s Mother, where they also played mahjongg. After the dinner, Jack attempted to thank Olivia’s Mother, in Cantonese, however, Jack’s incorrect tone had him inadvertently saying, “Thank you for the good sex.”
Statistics Canada census of 2006 on Canadian interracial marriage shows a significant increase in interracial marriages throughout Canada (Since 1990) of all groups including visible minorities. More Black, Arab, & South Asian Men who are young, urban, educated and financially well are marrying outside their race.
Chinese: 56,000 or 9.5 %
Black: 55,200 or 25.5 %
South Asian: 41,500 or 6.8 %
Latin American: 40,000 or 30.7 %
Filipino: 35,600 or 19.8 %
Arab/West Asian: 26,500 or 14.3 %
Japanese: 22,200 or 59.7 %
Southeast Asian: 18,100 or 18.4 %
Korean: 6,800 or 10.8 %
Multiple groups: 29,400 or 41.3 %
Based on 2006 Census data, mixed couples, with a median family income of $74,670 a year, made $5,000 more than non-mixed couples, who earned $69,830.
While those who marry within the same visible minority group earned just $53,710, the lowest of all groups, the highest earners, making $76,150, were couples in which a visible minority was married to a Caucasian.
Mixed-race couples are also more highly educated. Among Canadian couples with a university degree, 6.4 per cent were in mixed unions. Of those with a high school degree or less, 1.8 per cent were mixed couples.
Canadian interracial marriages will make for a more diversified Canada, and promotes unity and understanding among the different immigrants in the country.