this Edmonton Sun article was online ahead of the train arrival in
June 17, 2006
Apology expected Chinese head-tax payers head to Ottawa
By Sun staff
An historic train ride stopped in Edmonton Saturday to pick up one of
a few surviving Chinese head-tax payers.
James Mar, 94, will ride the VIA Rail train to Ottawa where several
Chinese-Canadian groups are expecting Prime Minister Stephen Harper to
apologize for the head tax during a speech in the House of Commons on
The federal government hasn’t committed to that, nor any compensation.
“We’re really not sure whether the settlement will be acceptable or
said Kenda Gee of Edmonton, chair of the Chinese Head Tax Exclusion Act
More than 81,000 Chinese paid the head tax ranging from $50 and $500
between 1885 and 1923.
But just 20 of those who directly paid and another 260 of their spouses
are still alive.
About 4,000 descendants of the head tax payers have registered with