Jason Kenney, Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity was in BC, and came to a ceremony at the Shiang Garden Restaurant in
Jason Kenney affirmed the announcement below. In addition, he
named Wesley Lowe, to head the advisory panel which will
oversee the evaluation of projects and disbursement of funds.
While this announcement does not give recognition to the 99.3% of head tax certificates where the head tax payers or spouses are pre-deceased. It allows the community to move forward to create projects that are commemorative and educational, to help all Canadians understand the terrible systemic racism that Canada perpetuated against a single ethnic cultural group that spanned over 62 years, by means of the Chinese head tax (1885-1923), and the Exclusion Act (1923-1947).
The Government of Canada Promotes Historical Recognition for
Chinese-Canadian Community's Immigration Experiences
TORONTO, May 8, 2008 – The Honourable Jason Kenney,
Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity), today
announced $5 million in grants and contributions funding will be made
available to the Chinese-Canadian community for community-based
commemorative and educational projects related to immigration
“The Head Tax and other immigration restrictions, which affected
Chinese-Canadians, are an unfortunate chapter in our history and
deserve recognition,” said Secretary of State Kenney.
This funding is being provided under the Community Historical
Recognition Program, which was first announced by Prime Minister
Stephen Harper in June 2006. The Program will fund community-based
projects that will allow communities affected by Canadian wartime
measures and immigration restrictions to have their experiences
acknowledged in a way that is meaningful to them. Eligible projects
could include monuments, commemorative plaques, educational material,
Other components of the Community Historical Recognition Program will
be announced in the days to come, as well as details regarding the
National Historical Recognition Program, which will fund federal
initiatives that educate Canadians about the history of wartime
measures and immigration restrictions and the contributions of affected
communities to the building of Canada.
Chinese-Canadians received an official apology by Prime Minister
Stephen Harper in 2006 for the Head Tax imposed on Chinese immigrants.
The Government also announced that it would make ex-gratia symbolic
payments of $20,000 to living Head Tax payers and to persons who had
lived in a conjugal relationship with a now-deceased Head Tax payer. To
date, more than $12 million in ex-gratia payments have already been
made to this community.