The story of CDNIS did not start in September 1991, the month it first opened its doors to its students. It tied in intimately with important events of the past that affected Hong Kong.
It had its root in 1989. That year started out as a boom year for Hong Kong but the incident in June 1989 in China had shattered the economic upturn and the people of Hong Kong lost confidence and directions as to their future.
For those who could afford it, they discussed and found ways of migrating overseas to seek an asylum for their fortunes and family or ways or means to obtain a passport and with it, the flexibility of going overseas in times of necessity in the future.
It started “the brain drain” and fortunes were moved from Hong Kong to overseas; people started to leave and migrate overseas with their families. Canada was one of the most favourite destinations.
In 1989, an International Business Committee (“IBC”) was formed by the Hong Kong government and chaired by Sir David Ford, then Chief Secretary, to deal with various issues facing Hong Kong and the international communities in Hong Kong.
One of the issues discussed and identified at the IBC meetings was the shortage of international schools with North American curricula in Hong Kong. A sub-committee chaired by Mr. K.Y. Yeung, then Secretary for Education and Manpower, was set up to deal with the issue.
One of the participants of the IBC meetings was the Canadian Chamber of Commerce of Hong Kong (“the Chamber”). At the time, the Chamber proposed to work towards the establishment of a Canadian International Schools Foundation which would then consider detailed proposals for the setting up of a primary Canadian International School by the mid-nineties.
The Chamber recognized, and was of the opinion, that the task of forming a Canadian International School was a very complex one and considered that it was beyond its scope on its own to take up the task.
Many of the international schools in Hong Kong are funded by their national governments in various forms.
The Canadian government, however, has no constitutional jurisdiction over education here in Hong Kong and it was expressly stated at one of the IBC meetings that no financial support would be available.