Sing Tao News – Head Tax Coalition criticizes Bill C-133 and NCCC

Here is a translation of  The Front Page Headline News Item in Sing Tao Daily on October 31, 2005

Head Tax Coalition Severely Criticizes the NCCC
Opposition to NCCC heated up, NCCC Representation questioned

Excerpt: The opposition to the National Congress of Chinese Canadians
(hereinafter the NCCC) from the Chinese Canadian community is beginning
to heat up. The Ontario Coalition of Head Tax Payers and Families
(hereinafter the Coalition), which is demanding the federal government
to redress the Head Tax issue including apology and individual
compensation, held a community forum yesterday in Toronto. 
Posters in the meeting hall severely criticize the NCCC on the head tax
issue and question its true representation.  Community leader Dr.
Joseph Wong spoke at the meeting strongly criticized the federal
government’s handling of the head tax issue and stated that their
refusal to apologize is wrong and unacceptable.

<Toronto News> Demanding to have direct dialogue with the federal
government and seeking apology and individual compensation on the Head
tax issue, the Coalition again held a community forum yesterday. 
Over 100 people attended the meeting including many of the head tax
payers and families.  Toronto City Councillor Olivia Chow,
community leader Dr. Joseph Wong, and current affairs critic and former
Taiwan legislator Mr. Ziyuan Hui all came to show support.

The Opposition parties may cast the no vote to Bill C-133

The executive committee members of the Coalition first gave a progress
report on recent development.  Ms. Avvy Go, the executive director
of the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, reported
that the public hearing of the House of Commons Standing Committee on
Canadian Heritage on Bill C-133, the Chinese Canadian Recognition and
Compensation Bill, has been completed.  The Standing Committee
will be discussing the draft Bill tomorrow.  Members of the two
opposition parties, the NDP and the PQ, which have always supported
apology and individual compensation, will introduce amendments to the
Bill supporting the Coalition.  But Avvy Go reported that the
Liberal members on the Standing Committee may also introduce even more
stringent amendments such as deleting the words “apology” and
“individual compensation” in the draft Bill and maintaining the NCCC as
the sole negotiating unit in the Bill.  These government party’s
amendments may get passed in the Standing Committee because of the
Liberal majority in that committee.  Even if the draft Bill is
sent to the House of Commons for third reading, the Coalition will
continue to lobby politicians to make the necessary changes.  If
unsuccessful, the Coalition will suggest those politicians who support
the Coalition to oppose the Bill.  

The Coalition Co-Chair Mr. George Lau pointed out that since its
formation, the Coalition has received widespread support from the
Chinese Canadian community.  Both the mainstream and the Chinese
media outlets have provided extensive reports on the issue.  He
called for more volunteers to join the Coalition to spread the words
before the upcoming federal election.

Dr. Joseph Wong supports the Coalition

Dr. Joseph Wong spoke at the meeting.  If the federal government
agreed that the Head Tax legislation was racist in nature, but still
refused to apologize and compensate the victims, Dr. Wong said that
then the government’s position is absolutely wrong.  Dr. Wong also
said that he respects the wishes of some head tax payers who do not
agree to individual compensation, but the government should still
apologize to the head tax payers and families and provide compensation
to those who demand it.

Dr. Wong emphasized that if the government continued to ignore the
Coalition and the Chinese Canadian National Council (hereinafter the
CCNC) which has been working on this issue for over 20 years, and
instead negotiates with the NCCC only, it is simply not
acceptable.  He warned the federal government not to treat the
Chinese Canadian community as dummies.  

Mr. Ziyuan Hui urged not vote for Raymond Chan

Others who spoke at the meeting expressed strong dissatisfaction with
the actions of Secretary of State on Multiculturalism Raymond Chan on
this issue.  They also questioned whether the NCCC has the right
to represent the head tax payers and families to negotiate with the
government.  Mr. Ziyuan Hui also spoke at the meeting and urged
people to vote for those who protect the interests of the community in
the next general election and not to vote for Raymond Chan.  

The Co-Chair endorsed the posters

The Coalition and the NCCC oppose each other because of their different
positions on the head tax issue.  The Coalition’s opposition to
the NCCC has heated up yesterday.  On the wall of the meeting
hall, workers have put up many signs and posters criticizing the NCCC
such as “the NCCC hijacked the head tax issue and is unethical in their
claim to represent the head tax payers and families”, “the NCCC is not
qualified to represent head tax payers and families”, “the NCCC’s claim
of support of 280 organizations is bogus and at best exaggerated”, and
“the government has no courage to face the facts and the head tax
payers” etc.

After the meeting, in answer to questions from reporters, the Coalition
co-chair Mr. Lau stated that those posters were put up by workers and
he basically agreed with them.  


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