Sing Tao: Jason Kenney tells his view of the Head Tax issue and tells Benson Li off

Sing Tao: Jason Kenney tells his view of the Head Tax issue and tells Benson Li off

Jason Kenney, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister addresses the Head Tax issue

in a letter to Sing Tao newspaper, criticizing it's columnist Benson Li.  Kenney knows his facts

and correctly identifies Li as one of the organizers of the Liberals failed ACE program, paid by

the Liberals as a “consultant” who recommended NO APOLOGY, and NO Compensation, and

money given to organizations not administered by head tax descendants.

Mr. Victor Ho, Editor-in-Chief

Sing Tao



In his April 27 column, Benson Li unfairly criticized the Chinese
Head Tax

redress consultations held by Canada's new government.

the recent election campaign, Prime Minister Harper made a commitment

offer a formal government apology for the Chinese Head Tax, and to

broadly within the Chinese Canadian community to seek a consensus on

bestform of redress. His commitment for an apology was repeated in
the Speech from the Throne.

In March, Heritage Minister Bev Oda and I
launched our consultations as one

of the first actions of the new
Conservative government.  We met with the

leadership of major Chinese
Canadian organizations from across the country,

including both the CCNC and
the NCCC.

Since then we have held a series of open, democratic town hall

in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, and
Halifax, together

with a virtual meeting with community members in St.
John's, Fredericton,

and Charlottetown.

These meetings have been
well-advertised and well-attended, with over 2,000

people attending. 
Everyone who has wanted to express themselves directly at

these meetings has
been able to do so. I am not aware of a single person who

was unable to offer
their opinion at these meetings.

We have done everything possible to
make these meetings accessible for

members of the community, from
providing transportation to seniors, to

simultaneous translation in both
Cantonese and Mandarin.  We have also made

a point of giving special
honour to elders in the community, and encouraging

them to tell their

In addition to the public meetings, Minister and Oda and I have

and received hundreds of letters, emails, and phone calls with

suggestions, and we have held many private meetings with groups

individuals in the community.  For instance, in Vancouver I was
deeply moved

to meet with a dozen seniors and hear the often tragic personal
stories of

how families were divided and humiliated by the effects of racist


The extent and nature of these consultations
between the Government of

Canada and the Chinese-Canadian community is
totally unprecedented.  The

public meetings have also been a valuable
part of the reconciliation process,

giving those who were affected by the
Head Tax the opportunity to

speak directly to their government.

I am
gratified with the support that these consultations have received

members of the Chinese community.  In fact, Mr. Li's column is the

criticism that I have heard.  Perhaps that is because he was paid
by the

previous government to help with its failed approach to the issue,

included no grassroots consultation, no apology, and no redress, and

resulted in a deep division in the community.

After years of
Liberal inaction on the historic wrong of the Chinese Head

Tax, Chinese
Canadians finally have a government that is listening to them

directly, and
which will soon act in good faith to seek to heal the wounds

of the


Jason Kenney, MP

Parliamentary Secretary to
the Prime Minister

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