Vancouver Province: Groups fight Ottawa's Plan on Chinese Head Tax

Vancouver Province
October 31, 2005, p. A9

Vancouvuer Province: Groups fight Ottawa's Plan on Chinese Head Tax

Groups fight Ottawa's plan on head tax
by Elaine O'Connor, Staff Reporter

Chinese-Canadian groups are meeting in Ottawa today to try and put the
brakes on a government bill they say will do nothing to repair the
damage done by the Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act (sic).

“There is anger in the community…and it's really coming out in full
force now,” said Victor Wong of the Chinese Canadian National Council.
“The head-tax payers and families are saying, “No, we are not going to
accept this.”

“Ottawa's February budget included a $25-million, three year fund for
programs to addresspast injustices against ethno-cultural groups.”

The council, along with National Anti-Racism Council of Canada and the
B. C. Coalition of Head-Tax-Payers, Spouses and descendants are
protesting the redress plan.

Other groups, including the National Congress of Chinese Canadians,
back the plan, which designates the congress as representative for all
Chinese groups.

“Our group is not calling for individual compensation, but some kind of
funding for community use, for educational purposes, and also maybe for
recognition of the pioneer Chinese and the (war) veterans,” Don Lee,
national director of the congress, said. yesterday. Bill 333 (sic)
comes out for debate in the Commons tomorrow.

Wong, whose grandfather was forced to pay a $500 head tax in 1912, said
the council has been trying to get the government to “come to the table
and negotiate a real redress agreement.”

He discribed the idea of commemorative stamps, plaques, films and photo
exhibits as “token” measures that should be funded by Heritage Canada
so that the $25-million could be used for real redress.


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