Reuters Press and Canadian Press cover head tax apology story

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Reuters Press and Canadian Press cover head tax apology story



Both Reuters Press and Canadian Press have been able to write stories
about the Chinese Canadian community response to the mention of apology
for head tax in the throne speech by the Conservative government.

And both stories have interviewed my friend Sid Tan, who was
responsible for organizing the Novembers 26th protest against the
Liberal government Agreement-in-Principle, which stated “No Apology”
and “No Compensation.”  I know that Sid is probably in a partial
state of disbelief, or as he says “cautious optimism.”  He is
prepared for a long haul, in order to get the best reasonsable and fair
settlement.  After all, it has been 22 years, since Head Tax
redress became an issue for the community.

I will now have to call my 95 year old grandmother on the phone and
tell her the good news.  Both her father and husband paid the head
tax.

Throne speech signals apology for head tax
imposed on Chinese-Canadians

Greg Joyce

Canadian Press

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

(CP)
– There was only one sentence near the end of a 2,500-word throne speech
Tuesday, but for the few hundred survivors forced to pay an ugly, racist head
tax in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was undoubtedly the
speech's highlight.

“The
government will act in Parliament to offer an apology for the Chinese Head
Tax,” the governor general read. There was the word apology but nothing
about redress or compensation. Vancouver
resident Sid Tan was still pleased.

“It
may have been weak and it may not have been as lengthy as we wanted it to be,
but it was a definite signal,” said Tan, president of the Association of
Chinese Canadians for Equality and Solidarity.

He
expressed “cautious optimism” that the impending Conservative
budget would offer some compensation.

“I
think those details will be better seen in the budget,” said Tan, who is
also a national director of the Chinese Canadian National Council.

“We
will see when the budget is introduced what is there for head-tax
redress.”

read the entire story: click here

Canada to apologize for head tax on
Chinese

 Reuters


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada will
apologize for a discriminatory tax imposed decades ago on Chinese immigrants,
but details on issues such as compensation are still being worked out, the
government said on Tuesday.

The
promise came in the new Conservative government's first Speech from the Throne
policy address. During the campaign leading up to the January 23 election,
Chinese-Canadians had accused the former Liberal government of ignoring the
issue.

The
speech did not say when the apology would be made, and Heritage Minister
Beverly Oda later said officials were meeting with
groups to work out details and whether there would be financial compensation.

“We're
looking at what's most appropriate,” Oda told
CBC Newsworld television.

The tax
was imposed from the 1880s to the 1920s on Chinese immigrants and made it
financially difficult for them to move to Canada or be joined by their
families.

The fee
was originally set at C$50 a person, but raised in the early 1900s to C$500.
The C$500 was equivalent to about two years' wages for a Chinese Canadian
worker at the time, according to a lawsuit filed in 2000 seeking compensation.

There was
almost a complete ban on Chinese moving to Canada from 1923 to 1947.

Sid Chow
Tan, a Vancouver-area resident who has campaigned for two decades for an
apology and compensation for the taxpayers and their descendants, called the
new government's actions “a good first step.”

“We're
further now than we have ever been before,” Tan said. “I'm cautiously
optimistic that we will get a full settlement within a year.”

Tan said
that there are only a few hundred people still alive who paid the tax or were
married to someone who paid it.

see the story: click here

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