Robinson's constituency assistant in Burnaby Douglas. At the
January 16th press conference and Statement of Support signing by
candidates supporting Head Tax Redress, I asked the candidates if any
of them were direct head tax descendants or had family members who were.
Bill Siksay gave this reply as reported in Burnabynow newspaper”
head tax was a terrible chapter in Canadian history,” Siksay said. “It
was an unjust law that caused incredible hardship for many, many
family who lived in Canada at that time, which means, in fact, that I
had family who were head-tax collectors,” he said. “This isn't just an
issue for Chinese-Canadians, this is an issue for all Canadians to take
responsibility for what happened in the past.”
noted that the Liberals and Conservatives voted to water down the
original head-tax redress bill in Parliament to remove the word
'apology' and replace it with a statement of recognition.
also noted that the NDP has been at the forefront of the issue since
the early '80s, when former MP Margaret Mitchell introduced the first
proposal on the matter.
said he believes redress and compensation are vital to ensuring that
Canada moves forward as a strong and proud country that acknowledges it
was built on the backs of immigrants.
Liberals are the only party still refusing to endorse or commit to
individual compensation, and no Liberals attended the ceremony. Conservative Darrel Reid of Richmond who said while he supported head tax redress, his party's position was not to sign.
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
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
Green: Richard Gordon Mathias, Roy Whyte
Conservative: Paul Forseth
TOTAL CANDIDATE SIGNED THE SUPPORT DECLARATION: 23 (NDP-12, GREEN- 9, CONSERVATIVE-1,