Head Tax Consultation meeting in Montreal: report from Victor Wong
consultation was restorative for many in the audience. George Lau, Binh Chow, Mr. Ng, Doug Hum, representing the Ontario
Coalition, Maria Chan from CBA Toronto and others including yours truly drove
Jonas Ma (CCNC Ottawa) from drove in from
Yat Lo and Christina Samfat (Amite Chinoise) spoke.
Doug, Maria Chan and Jonas spoke. Everyone urged the govt
to move quickly and do the right thing. Please see William’s report
Many families spoke from their heart…Mrs. Wong's presentation was
very powerful especially when she held up her father's laundry bag. Many of local laundries in
Chinese families (check out William’s film: Moving The Mountain).
Filmmaker Karen Cho, who is also a descendant, gave a strong
presentation. I was sitting beside the microphone where she spoke and her voice
shook the entire room. Karen recalled the stories she heard from the many
families she met while making her film “In The
Shadow of Gold Mountain” and presented a DVD copy to Minister Oda. Please see the CanWest/National Post news article
below; the Gazette has an edited version.
I spoke about CCNC's work, my own family's
experience under the HTEA (more than 50 years to unite our family in Canada and
I consider my family lucky because so many people never met their father or
grandfather), and I paid tribute to the local groups including Amite Chinoise,
Redress Alliance, NCCC (Quebec) and CBA-Canada affiliates. Only local NCCC reps
spoke and they pitched the AiP but they didn’t
oppose the families. I asked the govt to include a
meaningful gesture of regret to the families.
William, May and Walter spoke.
Doug Hum got the last word in: “Leave the head tax money for the head tax
payers and their families.”
We still have to work hard to convince the govt
to resolve this issue in a just and honourable manner, in a manner that
respects our common interests of family, respect and dignity and to do this
preferably by July 1st.