April 19th – Head Tax information meeting at SUCCESS
Almost 300 people showed up at SUCCESS building's Choi Hall and created
standing room only at the Head Tax information meeting organized by the
BC Coalition of Head Tax Payers, Spouses, Descendants and
The meeting was organized to inform head tax families that
Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, would be
coming to the Vancouver area, and holding a Town Hall style
consultation with the Chinese Canadian community for:
Gateway Theatre –
6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond BC.
Kenney and Minister of Canadian Heritage Bev Oda, are holding similar meetings across Canada.
BC Coalition organizers George Jung, Karin Lee and Gabriel Yui spoke to
the audience. They told people that an apology was coming, and
that the BC Coalition is working with other Coalitions across Canada
and the Chinese Canadian National Council, to help establish a 2 stage
framework: An official apology and compensation for suriving head
tax payers and spouses before July 1st, and a second stage after July
1st to negotiate compensation for descendants of head tax payers.
There was excellent turnout and positive response from the people who showed up.
We had to turn a few people away from the door, and lock the doors,
only letting people in when others left. Many people were thanking us,
as we saw them out the door at the meeting's close.
Larry Wong was on hand to explain how people could search for head tax
documentation on microfilm at the Vancouver Public Library, History
department. It is challenging searching for exact information as
it is by date, not names.
Dr. Henry Yu was on hand to explain that his project of creating a data
base of head tax documentation will hopefully be on-line by June.
This project will help users search by date, names, place of landing
A lot of people wanted to “register” their certificates and find
out how to search for certificate information. Registration forms
were given out, that also listed the type of head tax
Gordon Mark had set up a scanner to record head tax certificates and photo copies of certificates.
The BC Coalition emphasized that the important thing is to tell Jason
Kenney about the hardships that head tax payers, their spouses and
descendants had to endure. It is not simply a head tax
issue. The Exclusion Act of 1923 to 1947, was even more
prohibitive to Chinese immigration. It effectively banned Chinese
immigration to Canada, preventing families from being united – which
was allowed for all other immigrants except Chinese.
It was great to see so many people from the Chinese Canadian community
attend the meeting. Gim Wong, the WW2 veteran who rode his
motorcycle from Victoria to Ottawa and Montreal was there.
Libby Davies, the MP for Vancouver East, and a champion for Chinese
Head Tax redress, was enthusiastically greeted by many people in the
audience who saw her.
Everybody was encouraged to attend the April 21st meeting at Gateway Theatre. Start time is 7pm, but get there early.
Buses will meet at 5pm outside Starbucks at Tinsel Town, arranbed by
the BC Coalition. There will be 3 buses. Buses also are
being arranged by the NCCC and meet at CCC.
For more information on Chinese head tax redress check: