It’s important to vote in today’s federal election.
Last night at Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner, Faye Leung wanted to say a few words to acknowledge my family elders. Many were born in Victoria and Vancouver BC,, and were not able to vote in the country of their birth until 1947 when Canadians of Chinese ancestry were given franchise rights. This was due to the successful repeal of the racist Chinese Exclusion Act that had begun with the Chinese Head Tax, and was part of 62 years of legislated racism.
My grand-uncle Daniel Lee is a WW2 veteran, who decided to fight for Canada, even though he couldn’t vote. He and his friends also fought for franchise rights for Canadians of Chinese descent. Every year he writes to the federal government asking for an apology… but they
Head tax redress became the most important issue in the Chinese Canadian issue when the Liberal government tried to pass through and announce the ACE program for acknowledgement, commemoration and education in an effort to redress all past wrongs for immigration or internment. Unfortunately the preconditions were No Apology, and
No Compensation, unlike the historic 1988 redress for Japanese Canadians, interned during WW2.
The Chinese Canadian population, spoke out in protest from Halifax to Victoria, against the program demanding their version of ACE – Apology, Compensation and Equality.
Against a rising tide of redress protest, the Liberal party floundered and Prime Minister Martin gave a “personal apology” – but redress leaders said this wasn’t good enough. All the opposition parties, thd NDP, Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois, plus the Green Party, agree
on an official apology and individual compensation for surviving head tax payers and spouses. But the Liberals are the lone hold out.
In the last election I voted Liberal, but I cannot do that his year because of their unconscienceable stance on head tax redress.
Democracy works. Please vote.