This will be the 4th annual Chinatown Redress Rally, since Prime Minister Harper apologized for the Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act – but limited redress packages to only surviving head tax payers and their spouses. This action effectively limited full redress to less than 1% of head tax paying families, as almost all head tax payers had already died. Many head tax payers passed on their certificates to their children, because they believed the government would make a fair and equal redress someday, and because they believed that Canada was a fair and equal country. Chinese Canadians have lobbied against head tax since it was legislated in 1885. After WW2, Chinese Canadian WW2 veterans successfully lobbied for the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1947. In 1988, a Japanese Canadian Redress package was finally achieved after 4 years of negotiations. The Chinese Head Tax Redress package was never openly negotiated with community groups.
Head Tax Families Celebrate Canada Day With Hot Dogs:
Rally at Monument to Chinese Railway Workers and War Veteran
Vancouver, BC – Members of Head Tax Families Society of Canada (HTFSC)
and its supporters will celebrate Canada Day with hot dogs in Chinatown.
The Fourth Annual Chinatown Redress Rally maybe remembered as the one
when the hotdogs appeared and the start of a tradition. Head tax families are
proud Canadians exercising their rights of public assembly and speech. They
will call on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to start good-faith
negotiations with representatives of head tax families for an inclusive just and
Time: 10:30am members call time – program to begin shortly after
Date: Wednesday July 1, 2009 – Canada Day
Place: Memorial to Chinese Railway Workers and War Veterans
Keefer and Columbia (NE corner), Vancouver
The Conservative government's June 22, 2006 Parliamentary apology and
unilaterally imposed redress package excluded most head tax families seeking
direct meaningful symbolic redress. Less than 900 families were eligible for the
ex gratia payments to surviving head tax payers and spouses of deceased head
tax payers. Some 3,000 families have registered with HTFSC and inclusive
redress-seeking groups across Canada calling for justice and honour for
affected elderly sons and daughters whose parents are deceased. Over 82,000
Chinese immigrants paid the head tax from 1885 to 1923, when exclusion
legislation was enacted. Repealed in 1947, the Chinese exclusion laws impoverished and
separated many head tax families for decades.
Members and supporters of Head Tax Families Society of Canada are today's
Canadians on a twenty-six year struggle for an inclusive just and
for affected head tax families.
Go to www.headtaxfamilies.ca for more information.
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Contact: Sid Tan – 604-783-1853