My friend Sid Tan is
an advocate for Chinese Head Tax Redress. On Monday he spoke on
CBC Radio's BC Almanac in opposition to Mr. Don Lee of the NCCC, after returning from Ottawa to present to the
Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.
The following is a letter Sid wrote in reply to the Vancouver Province Article.
Yo Folks. My letter to follow up on the Vancouver Province article. Take care. anon Sid
Re: Group fights Ottawa plan on head tax
by Elaine O'Connor, October 31, 2005, p. A9
Thank you for Elaine O'Connor's report on the progress of Bill C-333,
the so-called Chinese Canadian Recognition and Redress Act. Reported
extensively across Canada in the Chinese-language media and somewhat in
the English-language eastern Canada media, the story has been largely
ignored by the English- language media in B.C. Rather disappointing,
considering the size of BC's ethnic Chinese population and the fact the
head tax and exclusion laws were Vancouver-grown politically and
The Vancouver connections in this is federal Multiculturalism Minister
Raymond Chan and Don Lee, currently candidate for Vancouver school
trustee. Mr. Lee and his friends formed the National Congress of Chinese Canadians when
the Chinese Canadian National Council took a principled position in the
aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. The CCNC strongly
condemned the human rights record of the government of the People's
Republic of China. Chinese Canadian PRC apologists felt for their
wallets and the result was the NCCC, sympathetic to a government that
sent tanks to murder citizens in peaceful assembly for democracy and
Now the Canadian government maybe negotiating a redress agreement,
primarily a human rights matter, with an organisation formed to thwart
and frustrate the efforts of legitimate human rights and social justice
groups such as the Chinese Canadian National Council. The CCNC was
formed in 1980 and has led the redress campaign nearly since it began
in Vancouver in 1984 when head-tax payer Leon Mark asked Margaret
Mitchell, then New Democrat MP for Vancouver East, if anything could be
done to get his tax refunded.
The NCCC lack of
literature and website (see www.n-c-c-c.ca) seemingly underscores
the group's shadowy nature as the long arm of China in our domestic and
local affairs. Under the guise of culture, art and trade,
the group and it's members have primarily a trade and business agenda.
This ensure they and the governing federal Liberals will make a
scam and sham of redress for the
sake of votes and financial profit. The surviving head-tax payers,
spouses and descendants, who should be the focus of a just and
honourable redress, will again be humiliated.
As July 1, 1923, then Dominion and now Canada Day, was referred to as
Humiliation Day by the Lo Wah Kiu (old overseas Chinese). Bill C-333 is
already being referred to as the Chinese Canadian Humiliation Act.
Multiculturalism Minister Raymond Chan, one time advocate for freedom
and democracy in China, is in charge of
this file and acting like a houseboy for the government. He should be a
champion for the Lo Wah Kiu, who overcame the 62-years of unjust and
oppressive laws and made it possible for him to be in public office.
This redress is not only a Chinese Canadian community human rights
issue. It is a human rights issue all Canadian should be informed
about. Start by asking how much credibility can Raymond Chan, Don Lee
and the National Congress of Chinese Canadians, with their coziness to
the PRC, have on human rights in Canada? And is the PRC meddling in
Sid Chow Tan, President
Association of Chinese Canadians for Equality and Solidarity Society
(Successor to the Vancouver Association of Chinese Canadians)