NDP call on Conservatives to apologize for Chinese Canadian head tax
redress to mark International Day for the Elmimnation of Racism
March 21, 2006
International Day for the Elimination of Racism
Re: Head tax apology and redress
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
We were very encouraged by your pledge, immediately after the election,
to apologize for the injustice to Chinese Canadians under the Chinese Head Tax
and Exclusion Acts, and to provide appropriate redress. We are writing to urge
you to take action to this end, to direct redress for the surviving head tax
payers and spouses and negotiate/consult with head tax payers family on
appropriate methods of reconciliation.
We believe the apology and the appropriate redress should be delivered
to the now very elderly head tax payers and spouses on or prior to Canada Day,
July 1 of this year. It was on July 1, 1923, the Chinese Exclusion Act was
passed to prohibit Chinese immigration. There are still many Chinese Canadians
who refer to July 1 as “Humiliation Day”.
We believe also that it is critical for the government to immediately
spell out a clear timeline and process to achieve redress and reconciliation.
The former government signed an Agreement-in-Principle on November 24,
2005 with a preconditions of “no apology, no compensation,” and
which designated funds to a third party group which is not broadly recognized
by Chinese Canadians as being representative of the interests of head tax
payers and descendents. We believe such an agreement violates the fundamental
purpose of redress, which is to achieve reconciliation, restore justice and
To ensure transparency and accountability, we believe allocations of
public funds should be through the government, and not through arms-length
Please be assured that we are ready to assist your government to right
this historic wrong.
MP Vancouver East
MP Hamilton East-Stoney Creek