Did the great Canadian dream kill this man?

Posted by admin on May 30th, 2006

Did the great Canadian dream kill this man? Tue, May 30 2006 in Asian Pacific Post

Feng Bo was an excellent teacher at the Shanghai Xiangming Middle School for many years. For his efforts, the 31-year-old was given the “Pace-setter of the New Long March” – an honour awarded to those who made great achievements in their work in China. Three years ago he left for Toronto’s Chinatown to start his own computer store. On April 9, the Shanghainese immigrant was found dead in his basement suite.

Now newspapers in Shanghai are reporting that Feng Bo died of overwork – the third such case in Canada during the past year, according to the Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post. According to China’s consulate-general in Toronto, Feng’s parents arrived in Toronto to deal with his affairs.

The newspaper said Feng worked day and night nearly every day and devoted all his time to the operation of the store. At the beginning of the business, he overcame a variety of difficulties and persisted in doing everything by himself, from the selection of the store location to the interior decorating. In order to save money, he lived in the basement of the store and ate instant noodles for his daily meals. According to Tang Jun, a business acquaintance, Feng had been dead 15-16 hours before Tangfound his body.

“It was Saturday when the tragedy happened,” recalled Tang. “The store opened at 11 o’clock as usual that day, but Feng didn’t appear at that time. By the time the store closed late that night, he hadn’t appeared, which was unusual for Feng. When I went to fetch something at his home, I was shocked to find Feng unconscious on his bed in the basement.”

Tang added that Feng looked extremely tired just days before, when the store was exceptionally busy. Feng’s parents are retired workers who put most of their savings into their son’s business. They sold some of their valuables and borrowed from relatives to raise money for funeral expenses.

Feng’s mother said that when she saw the boxes of instant noodles in Feng’s house, her sorrow was beyond words.

The Chinese Immigrants Emergency Relief Fund has decided to raise money for the family and has opened a hotline for donations. Local police have excluded the possibility of murder or suicide for Feng’s death in a preliminary investigation, but said further analysis could take three to
four months.

With an increasing number of immigrants who have died from overwork, experts have expressed concern about the health of the vast numbers of immigrants who bear too large a workload when they go abroad, the Shanghai newspaper said.

On March 23, 38-year-old Wang Jun from Beijing died suddenly in his home in Toronto. Just one year before, Jiang Yu, a 24-year-old student from Changsha of Central China’s Hunan Province also died suddenly working a part-time job in a restaurant in Guelph, Ontario. Feng was another example
of someone who took no care of his health and worked too hard, the Chinese paper said. According to his friend, it was quite usual for Feng to go to sleep at 3 or 4 in the morning and eat irregularly.

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