This will be a historic event. I will be bringing my accordion to help lead singalongs of “This Train is Bound for Redress”, “People Get Ready (There's a Train A-Coming), and maybe “Chinatown My Chinatown” – which Gim Wong and I have wanted to sing together for awhile.
Media Advisory: For Immediate Release June 15, 2006
Head Tax Payers, Spouses and Descendants to Begin Redress Train Ride To Ottawa
Nine people will set off from Vancouver to ride the train from
Vancouver to Ottawa to hear the Government of Canada's apology of the
imposition of the Chinese Head Tax and Chinese Exclusion Act. These
people, who are head tax payers, spouses and descendants will be
setting off from the VIA Rail station in Vancouver at 1015 Station
Street (Main St & Terminal).
There will be an event before they
depart to wish them well and they will be available for interviews.
Members of the community and representatives from ACCESS, BC Coalition
of Head Tax Payers, Spouses and Descendants will be there as well as
the “Last Spike” that was driven in to complete the Trans Canada
Railway. The Last Spike was donated by noted author, Pierre Berton to
bring attention to the Chinese labourers who helped build the railway
and then were so poorly treated by the government of Canada.
is a not-for-profit anti-racism, human rights and social justice
society as well as a community television corporation. It is an
affiliate of the Chinese Canadian National Council and a member of
National Anti-Racism Council of Canada and STATUS Coalition. ACCESS
works with other equality seeking organizations to fight racism and
discrimination, to advance the rights of citizens and migrants living
in Canada and to press the federal government to redress the Chinese
Head Tax and Exclusion Acts.
The BC Coalition of Head Tax
Payers, Spouses and Descendents are today's Chinese Canadians. Of
various ages, from all walks of life, all have one thing in common.
They understand the injustice and
suffering, hardship and sacrifices
due to more than six decades (1885 to 1947) of legislated racial
discrimination targeted specifically at the Chinese in Canada. Given
the responsibility for identifying over
tax claimant files in Greater Vancouver, it seeks justice and honour
for our Chinese adventurers and pioneers. We want the government to
acknowledge their wrongs by offering head tax payers, spouses and
their families a rightful apology and symbolic redress (including
individual tax refund) so all Canadians will recognize this
distinguished thread in the Canadian fabric.
CCNC is a national
human rights organization with 27 chapters across Canada. Established
in 1979, it has campaigned since 1984 with other redress-seeking groups
including the BC Coalition of Head Tax Payers, Spouses and Descendants
(BC Coalition), Association of Chinese Canadians for Equality and
Solidarity (ACCESS), Ontario Coalition of Chinese Head Tax Payers and
Families (Ontario Coalition), and Chinese Canadian Redress Alliance
(CCRA) for Chinese head-tax and exclusion redress.