Famous and influential Canadians call on an All-Party resolution for Redress for Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act


Famous and influential Canadians call on an All-Party resolution for Redress for Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act

An Open Letter to:

 
The
Honourable Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada,
Mr. Stephen Harper, Leader of the Opposition Party,
Mr. Jack Layton, Leader of the NDP, and
Mr. Gilles Duceppe, Leader of the Bloc Quebecois
 
As
Canadians who believe in justice and human rights, we are calling on
you to start the process of redress and reconciliation for 62 years of
legislated racism under the Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Acts.
 
Head
tax redress is clearly an election issue and may well influence the
results in some key swing ridings. The issue has galvanized the Chinese
Canadian community and youth across the country. Thanks to this
grassroots pressure, all three opposition parties have called for a
formal apology in the House of Commons and the Prime Minister has made
at least a personal apology.
 
This
is an issue of justice that concerns all Canadians. How we deal with it
will speak to the values we hold dear and the true meaning of belonging
and citizenship.
 
On
January 23, 2006, one of you will become the new Prime Minister of
Canada. It will be a great opportunity for the new Government to start
afresh with a proper process of reconciliation with the Chinese
Canadian community, beginning with a formal apology in Parliament, and
direct compensation to the few surviving head tax payers and widows. 
 
Then,
new Government must rescind the agreement in principle signed with a
group that head tax families reject as representing them, stop payment
on the $2.5 million ACE program funds identified therein, and reopen
good-faith negotiations with the representatives of head tax families
as to the nature and extent of redress.

The three opposition parties have committed in writing to this process of reconciliation. We expect them to honour their pledge.

 
We
ask for your assurance that under your leadership, the Government of
Canada will immediately undertake to begin the process of healing, by
recalling the House of Commons on Chinese New Year to pass an all party
Parliamentary resolution to apologize for this historical injustice.
 
Chinese New Year is January 29th – a good time for the resolution
and an auspicious time for a new beginning.


Endorsed by: 

June Callwood
Wayson Choy
Shirley Douglas
Senator Lillian Dyck
Michelle Lansberg
His Worship David Miller, Mayor of Toronto
James Pon (Chairman of the Foundation to Commemorate the Chinese Railroad Workers)
Judy Rebick, Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy, Ryerson University
Senator Nancy Ruth, and
Dr. Joseph Wong, Founding President of the Chinese Canadian National Council

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