Ming Pao: Head Tax redress – “Harper expected to agree to an apology first”

Ming Pao: Head Tax redress – “Harper expected to agree to an apology first”

during the federal election campaign, the Chinese language media has
been hot on the trail of the continuing Chinese-Canadian head tax
redress developments.  Here is the latest reported by Ming Pao.

MingPao A2  Mar 21, 2006


Oda invites Chinese community
and head tax redress groups to Friday meeting

MingPao Ottawa – Heritage Minister Oda and PM
Harper’s trusted ally Jason Kenny sent sudden communication
via email last Friday evening inviting the two large Chinese rights groups and
leaders of many head tax redress groups to go to Toronto to meet on Friday.  At the
Friday meeting, the views of these leaders will be canvassed, it is “very
likely” to have to do with the final drafting of the Throne Speech to be
made public next month. 

Conservative Party Senior ranking information source
discloses to MingPao: “ Harper intends to reiterate his campaign promise when he gives his first throne speech to
address the head tax issue swiftly.  

“However since it is anticipated that there
won’t be an agreement reached soon over the issue of compensation to the community
or to the individual head tax payers between the two main community organizations, therefore it is very
probable Harper will, via the Friday meeting by Oda and Kenny, raise it with
the attendees of the meeting to agree to an apology first, then to look into
suggestions with regards to the form of compensation
thereafter.  With the hope that they will agree, in the upcoming parliamentary session, and with no objection
from other opposition parties, to
table and pass the official apology motion, to make good the first step to the

With respect to what is described by some of the Heritage Ministry officials as
“pretty difficult” issue over the form of compensation,
the Conservative Government “is inclined to” set up a “joint
committee” made up of leaders
of various main compensation claim
groups in order to seek a “most appropriate satisfactory

Though Oda is the Minister responsible in name, the actual
work of the plan will be carried out by Harper’s former parliamentary
secretary for multiculturalism, Jason Kenny.  The information source went
on to say : “The HMO still
hasn’t given the final green light to this action plan, whether it will
come to fruition or not still depends on the results of the Friday meeting in

Initial reactions from
the various compensation claim
groups have been quite positive since news about this went out among the Chinese
community across the country.
 All indicate their “willingness to co-operate with the Harper
government”, in order to seek an appropriate resolution and to
“give the conservative government a period of time to show its sincerity
and commitment”.

Manitoba conservative MP and one who is
quite closely connected to work on Head Tax, Inky Mark “feels deeply
surprised” that he hasn’t been invited by Oda to the Friday

He says: “Oda and Kenny do not understand this issue,
obviously there’s another plot that Harper appoints them to embark on
this action.  I offer a piece of advice to meeting attendees not to be
overly optimistic, because there still isn’t a unified opinion inside the
Conservative party re how to resolve this issue.”


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