Chinese Head Tax: Jack Layton and Ujjal Dosanjh to mark anniversary of turnaround moment

Chinese Head Tax: Jack Layton and Ujjal Dosanjh to 
mark anniversary of
turnaround moment

Here's the latest from the Head Tax Families Society planning the anniversary of last year's
pivotal moment when Head Tax Redress became an important election issue for the 2006
Federal election. Here's my article from last year's important event:
Chinese Head Tax: Protest in Vancouver Chinatown

Media Advisory: For Immediate Release - November 24, 2006

New Democrat and Liberal MP's to Mark Redress with Head Tax Families:
Jack Layton and Ujjal Dosanjh to Observe Seminal Redress Turnaround

Vancouver BC - The Head Tax Families Society of Canada (HTFSC) is
encouraged Jack Layton, Leader of the federal New Democrats, and Ujjal
Dosanjh, former Liberal cabinet minister and B. C. premier, will
observe the turnaround of the Chinese head tax/exclusion redress
struggle at a public forum. Invitees included the Leaders and Greater
Vancouver Members of Parliament of the four parties represented in the
House of Commons, the Leaders of parties and Members of the B. C.'s
legislature and elected officials from the three parties represented
at Vancouver city council.

When: 11:00am Saturday, November 25, 2006
Where: Chinese Cultural Center - Dr. David Lam Hall
50 East Pender Street, Vancouver

On November 26 last year, the ad hoc B. C. Coalition of Head Tax
Payers, Spouses and Descendants (BC Coalition) organised a march in
Chinatown to protest the then Liberal government's "no apology, no
compensation" agreement. An information line was set up outside a
closed redress conference funded by the government at the Chinese
Cultural Center and a photo opportunity for Prime Minister Paul Martin
at United Chinese Community Enrichment Social Services (SUCCESS). This
action is considered a seminal moment in the redress struggle.

Several days later, the action manifested itself politically. Kanman
Wong and Darrell Reid, who were at the information line and subsequent
Conservative candidates in the 2006 federal election, joined
Conservative John Cummins MP (Delta-Richmond East) to break with the
party position. On December 8, 2005, with the federal election
underway, Conservative leader Stephen Harper promised action on
Chinese head tax/exclusion redress if elected.

The unilateral settlement imposed by the Government will directly
address only 0.6% of affected head tax families. Approximately 600
surviving head tax payers and spouses will receive $20,000 in ex
gratia payments. Over 82,000 Chinese families paid the unjust tax
between 1885 and 1923 in Canada and 1906 to 1949 in Newfoundland
before joining Confederation.

Members of the BC Coalition formed the Head Tax Families Society of
Canada, a B. C. registered Society with a mandate from over 2,500
written claims for justice and honour for Chinese pioneer families. An
open membership and democratic Society, HTFSC continues its mission
of meaningful redress for head tax families.


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