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
Daily


VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL: victorho@singtao.ca


Dear
Editor:




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


redress consultations held by Canada's new government.



During
the recent election campaign, Prime Minister Harper made a commitment


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


consult
broadly within the Chinese Canadian community to seek a consensus on


the
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
consultations



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
stories.





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



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



suggestions, and we have held many private meetings with groups
or



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
government



policies.





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
from



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



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,
which



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



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
past.





Sincerely,





Jason Kenney, MP



Parliamentary Secretary to
the Prime Minister

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


seven + 9 =