Kerry Jang (鄭文宇) is a Canadian politician, currently serving on Vancouver, British Columbia's City Council. He is a Director of the Greater Vancouver Regional District Board. He was first elected in the 2008 municipal election. Before entering politics, Jang was a professor of psychiatry at the University of British Columbia.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Jang was the eldest of three siblings. His father, Leslie, was a Vancouver School Board plumber for 20 years, and his mother, May, had an administrative career with the Provincial Court of British Columbia, taught Chinese cooking, and sold cookware. Jang's paternal grandfather had three wives, of which Jang's paternal grandmother was third, and twenty-one children. Jang's grandfather made a fortune as a merchant after immigrating from China, but lost it all in the Great Depression. Jang's maternal grandfather was a pig farmer in China and became a tailor after immigrating to Canada.
He attended Renfrew Elementary School prior to Windermere Secondary School, where he was not a very good student. He worked on improving his academic record at Vancouver Community College and then transferred to Simon Fraser University to complete his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Psychology. He completed his education with a Ph.D. in Personality Psychology at the University of Western Ontario, where he initially studied under the highly controversial J. Philippe Rushton, known for work on race, intelligence and penis length. Jang has described the experience of witnessing Rushton's censure, and the impact it had on his understanding of politics:
"his theory was that Asians are the smartest people on earth. I didn’t believe it, because, mathematically, if you look at IQ scores there’s so much overlap, there’s no difference. He was wrong. He was censured by the university and I skeedaddled out of his lab within three months. What that taught me was the power of activism. People challenged him. They shut him down. I learned you can take on the big guy in a respectful way. It opened up a wide range of options."
In September 2006, Jang announced that he planned to seek the federal NDP nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding, after being called by Jack Layton, the leader of the NDP. The incumbent was David Emerson, who had crossed the aisle to the Conservative Party after the earlier election in 2006. Jang subsequently backed out of the race.
In June 2014, Jang faced a court petition to remove him and fellow councillor Geoff Meggs from office for allegedly violating rules on conflict of interest in connection with the rezoning of a public housing project.
In October 2016, Jang came under fire from Chinese Canadians after participating in the raising of a People's Republic of China national flag on the grounds of the Vancouver City Hall, sporting a red scarf. The event, organized by the Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations to mark China’s National Day, is one of many flag ceremonies held at city hall. The Alliance of the Guard of Canadian Values, a group of mainland Chinese immigrants which has protested local celebrations of Communist leader Mao Zedong, started an online petition calling for Jang’s resignation. “I was shocked,” said Meena Wong, former mayoral candidate for COPE, "to have my city councillor in my city hall raising the flag wearing the symbol of loyalty to communism, I was dumbfounded.” Jang tried to deflect criticism by suggesting that they were "rooted in ignorance and racism. [...] To them it doesn’t matter if it’s a Communist government in China, they’re just anti-Chinese.”
- "Councillor Kerry Jang", City of Vancouver Website, Accessed August 26, 2009.
- "About Kerry", KerryJang.ca, Accessed August 26, 2009.
- "Dr. Kierry Jang, Psychiatry Professor, City Council Candidate", Vancouver Observer, December 12, 2008.
- Jang, Kerry L. "The behavioral genetics of psychopathology: a clinical guide"
- "Prof seeks Emerson's seat", Georgia Straight, September 14, 2006.
- "Federal NDP can't find candidates of Chinese descent in Vancouver", Asian Canadian, March 5, 2008.
- "Mayor Robertson announces creation of Homeless Emergency Action Team" Archived 2011-11-17 at the Wayback Machine., Gregor Robertson press release, December 9, 2008.
- "Controversial homeless shelter to shut down Aug. 7", Vancouver Sun, July 30, 2009.
- "Decision on HEAT shelter closure likely today" Archived 2011-06-04 at the Wayback Machine., Metro Vancouver, July 29, 2009.
- "Controversial homeless shelter reopens"
- Court petition seeks removal of Kerry Jang and Geoff Meggs from Vancouver city council, Georgia Straight, 23 June 2014
- Laanela, Mike (3 October 2016). "Chinese flags and red scarves spark debate at Vancouver city hall". CBC News.
- Chan, Cheryl (2 October 2016). "City of Vancouver under fire for raising China's flag at city hall".
- Kerry Jang at Vancouver City Council