City of Toronto Asked to Proclaim Chinese Canadian Head Tax Redress Day

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MEDIA ADVISORY

City of
Toronto Asked to Proclaim Chinese
Canadian Head Tax Redress Day

 

TORONTO, June 27, 2006 – On Wednesday June
28, Toronto City Council will be asked to proclaim June 22 as Chinese Canadian
Head Tax Redress Day in the City of Toronto.
On June 22, 2006, following 22 years of hard work by the Chinese Canadian
community, the Government of Canada offered an apology for the Chinese Head Tax
and expressed sorrow over the Chinese Exclusion Act. The Government also announced
symbolic redress for surviving Head Tax payers and the spouses of deceased
payers.

 

“I am honoured to join Mayor
Miller in asking City Council to designate June 22 each year as the day for
Torontonians to formally recognize the terrible injustice of the Head tax and
Chinese Exclusion Act and to honour the tremendous
contributions of the Chinese Canadian community to our city,” said Councillor Fletcher, whose motion will be heard on
Wednesday.

 

The Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNC) and redress-seeking individuals
and groups, including the Ontario Coalition of Chinese Head Tax Payers and
Families, have been invited to City Hall on Wednesday at 2:00 pm to witness the historic vote. Mayor
Miller and Councillor Fletcher will host a reception
following the vote to recognize Chinese Canadian Head Tax families.

 

“We are honoured to receive the
head tax families and members of the Chinese Canadian community,” Mayor
David Miller said today. “June
22, 2006 marks a historic moment in Canadian history when the
contributions of Chinese Canadians to nation-building efforts are finally
recognized.”

 

 

2:00 pm                 Introduction of Head Tax Redress Motion in City Council Chambers

 

3:15 pm                                Press
Conference and Chinese Head Tax Family Reception in

                              
Committee
Room 1, City Hall, 2nd Floor, 100 Queen Street West

 

 

Background: The Chinese head tax was imposed in 1885. Estimates
are that 82,000 Chinese individuals paid a total of $23 million in head tax –
ranging from $50 to $500 each – to come to Canada. In 1923, with the
introduction of the Chinese Exclusion Act, all but a handful of Chinese
immigrants were barred from Canada.
That legislation was repealed in 1947. Today, approximately half of the
country's Chinese Canadian population lives in the Toronto area. A copy of the Head Tax motion
is available by calling 416-392-4060.

 

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For further information:

 

Matthew Lee, Office of Mayor Miller, 416-338-7109

Councillor Paula Fletcher, 416-392-4060

Victor Wong, CCNC, 416-977-9871, 647-285-2262 (c)

Avvy Go, Ontario
Coalition, 416-971-0676, 647-271-9357 (c)

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