Libby Davies welcomes the Liberal Flip Flop on Head Tax Redress

Libby Davies welcomes the Liberal Flip Flop on Head Tax Redress

Libby Davies is one of the hardest working MP's in Ottawa, and she has worked hard on gaining redress for Chinese Canadians continuing the work of Margaret Mitchell in the 1980's when Redress for Chinese Canadian head tax and exclusion act first came up.  I have been fortunate to meet Libby a number of times.  She is sincere and honest, and always busy working.  She has supported events for Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop in the past, and had planned to attend last year's 2005 dinner but Parliament was recalled.  We are pleased that Libby Davies, MP for Chinatown will be attending as a special guest for 2006 Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner.

Press Release                                 January 9, 2006


January 9, 2006 Vancouver – Libby Davies, NDP MP and Candidate for Vancouver East, welcomes the news that the Liberals will at last consider a public apology to head tax payers and calls on the federal government to negotiate a fair compensation package for the discriminatory tax.

In November, both the Liberal and Conservative parties rejected NDP amendments to proposed legislation that called for an apology and redress for Chinese Head Tax payers and their families. Shortly after they rejected the amendments, the Liberals announced a $2.5 million deal with a few select groups for commemorative measures, despite calls from several other head tax payer organizations, such as the Chinese Canadian National Council, to be involved.

Both the Liberals and Conservatives changed their positions on the head tax, but not until well after the election was called and the NDP campaigned for a new position from the government.

“This issue is about more than getting votes during an election,” said Davies. “This has divided the Chinese Canadian community. The federal government must repeal the existing agreement, which excludes several groups at the forefront of the redress movement, and find a course of compromise that meets the needs of this diverse community.”

The Canadian government collected $23 million from Chinese immigrants to Canada between 1885 and 1923.  Former NDP MP Margaret Mitchell first brought the issue to the House of Commons in 1984. In 2004, Libby Davies tabled a motion asking for an apology and redress for head tax payers, their families and representatives.


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