Signing Ceremony – “Candidates in Support of Chinese Head Tax Redress”

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The following is a media alert written by the BC Coalition of Head Tax
Payers, Spouses, and Descendants.  I attended the event and took
pictures shown below.

Media Alert

Signing Ceremony –  “Candidates
in Support of Chinese Head Tax Redress”

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Head
Tax payer/spouse shakes hands of Green Party members who attended and
signed a statement of support for Head Tax/Exclusion Act redress for
Chinese Canadians.  Moderator Thekla Lit organized the event which
saw Green Party candidates Ray Power, Christine Ellis, Ben West, Sven
Biggs, and Silvaine Zimmermann – photo Todd Wong

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NDP
candidates Bev Meslo, Libby Davies, Mary-Woo Sims, Svend RobinsonPeter
Julian, Bill Siksay and Neil Smith, all smile as they sign a statement
of support – photo Todd Wong

The BC Coalition of Head Tax Payers, Their Spouses and
Descendants is organizing a media event – “Candidates in Support of
Chinese Head Tax Redress”.  Candidates of all parties running in 11
Lower Mainland ridings with significant Chinese population are invited to
participate in a signing ceremony to declare their support for the demand of a
just and honorable Chinese Head Tax Redress.  Seniors of the
Coalition and the media are invited to witness the signing. Attached is
the Support Statement to be signed.

The objective of the event is to let the general public know
which candidates support the redress demands and who do not.  This
information will serve as one of the important considering factors in their
voting. 

Date: Jan
16, 2006 (Monday)

Time: 10:30
a.m. – Noon

Place: Chinese
Christian Mission Canada
Centre (CCM Centre), Crystal Mall
, 4533 Kingsborough Street,
Burnaby

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Green
Party: Ray Power, Christine Ellis, Ben West, Jean-Philippe Laflamme,
Sven Bigs & Silvaine Zimmerman. – photo Todd Wong.

———–

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Libby
Davies says the NDP party gladly signs the statement of support, as it
reflects the same objectives that the NDP have fought for since the mid
1980's when NDP MP Margaret Mitchell first led the call for Redress fo
Chinese Canadians – photo Todd Wong.

The meeting is well attended this morning at CCM Centre, Crystal
Mall. 
There were about 100 seniors (head tax families) and 17 candidates attended.

The 11
ridings that we send our invitations are:

– Richmond,
44% (Chinese population)

– Vancouver
South, 42%

– Vancouver
Kingsway, 42%

– Vancouver
East, 30%

– Burnaby-Douglas, 27%

– Vancouver-Quadra, 21%

– Burnaby-New Westminster, 20%

– Delta- Richmond East, 18%

– New Westminster-Coquitlam 16%

– Port Moody-Westview-Port Coquitlam, 10%

– Vancouver
Centre, 10%

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Seniors
lift up signs calling for redress and rescinding the
Agreement-in-Principle.  NDP and Green Party candidates turn
around to look – Seated in front Conservative Darrell Reid (far left), NDP's Svend
Robinson, Bill Siksay,
NDP Libby Davies, second row: Mary-Woo Sims (in red), GP Ray Power, GP Christine Ellis – photo Todd Wong

Candidates who attended and signed the
Support Declaration are:

NDP: Neil Smith, Bev Meslo, Ian Waddell, Libby Davies, Bill
Siksay, Peter Julian, Mary Woo Sims & Svend Robinson.

Green: Doug Perry, Christine Ellis, Ray Power, Ben West,
Jean-Philippe Laflamme, Sven Biggs & Silvaine Zimmermann.

Canadian Action: Constance
Fogal

Candidates who did not attended but signed
the Support Declaration in advance by fax/email:

NDP: David Askew, William Jonsson, Dawn Black & Penny
Priddy (not from the above 11
ridings).

Green: Richard Gordon Mathias, Roy Whyte

Conservative: Paul Forseth

TOTAL CANDIDATE SIGNED THE SUPPORT DECLARATION: 23 (NDP-12, GREEN- 9, CONSERVATIVE-1,
LIBERAL-0)

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Conservative Darrell
Reid listens to interpetor tell the audience that while the
Conservative Party will take action on the head tax issue, he has been
instructed by his party not to sign a document of support – photo Todd
Wong

Candidate who attended but do not want to
sign or commit to the Support Declaration:

Conservative: Darrel Reid

*The Conservative Party and some Liberal candidates cites
the Section 550 of the Election Act that said “candidate is prohibited
from giving to someone or some group a document which will commit the
candidate‚Ķ” (see attachment) and refuse to sign the Support
Declaration. 

Darrel Reid read his party position and cited the section
for his refusal to sign the declaration.  But when the convenor of the
event asked Reid to express his support by verbally read the Support
Declaration, Reid refused too.  Reid act drew strong responses from the
seniors and some even yelled there's no difference between the Liberals &
Conservative.

During the question session, Peter Julian, MP said he is
certain that the Support Declaration is not a violation of the Election Act and
he was a member of the Parliamentary committee who oversees election
matters.  Julian said it's a common practice where candidates make verbal
and written promises during election campaign. Julian declared that if it's a
violation, he's willing to resign.

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