CHINESE CANADIAN GROUPS REJECT LIBERAL'S STANCE ON HEAD TAX REDRESS

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CHINESE
CANADIAN GROUPS REJECT LIBERAL'S STANCE ON HEAD TAX REDRESS
 

TORONTO/VANCOUVER,   Dec. 2, 2005:
Chinese
Canadian groups are forcing Minister of State for Multiculturalism Raymond Chan
to explain his decision to award $2.5 million to one group that has divided the
community.

 “He knows that he
made the wrong decision. He knows that he has alienated half of his
constituency and now he’s trying to win them over with more
speeches,” says Susan Eng, co-chair of the Ontario Coalition of Chinese
Head Tax Payers and Families.

It
was the same thing when he kept saying to us that he wouldn't talk to
us if we refused to accept his conditions,” Eng said from
Toronto.  “Saying the same over and over again does not change the
reality of the situation,” Eng said.  “Justice has not been served
and Minister Chan cut out everyone else to favour his political
friends.”

Opposition
has been growing to the Liberals secretly negotiating the $2.5 million
deal with political cronies in the National Congress of Chinese
Canadians – to the exclusion of legitimate representatives of head tax
payers.  The deal was announced within hours of last Thursday's
no-confidence motion in Parliament.

This
is the most important election issue for Chinese Canadians across the
country,” says Todd Wong, spokesperson for the B.C. Coalition of Head
Tax Payers and Descendants, in Vancouver.  “It is galvanizing the
Chinese Canadian vote, particularly young voters, ahead of the
election.”

 “It is shameful that the Liberals
are trying to relegate this important issue concerning social and civil justice
for Chinese Canadians to the level of political payouts to their
friends,” he added.

The
B.C. and Ontario coalitions, with support from the Chinese Canadian
National Council, have been working together for the rights and redress
of the Chinese Canadian community over 62 years of legislated
racism.  A head tax was put on Chinese immigrants, from 1885 to
1923, during the building of our country, and then was followed by the
federal government imposing the Chinese Exclusion Act, which lasted for
24 years, separating families and loved ones, and setting the basis for
further racial discrimination.


30 –

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Susan Eng, co-chair, Ontario Coalition of Chinese Head Tax Payers and Families

416-960-0312

Todd Wong, spokesperson, B.C. Coalition of Head Tax Payers and Descendants,

604-240-7090

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