CCNC June 22 message for Head Tax redress

Canadian National Council – Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act Redress

It’s been a long journey, but well worth the time, effort and
hard work to seek resolution, closure, and justice for the Chinese Canadian

When CCNC first started organizing community meetings on the issue of
redress for the Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act in the mid 1980’s,
none of the original organizers ever thought that in the year 2006, more than
20 years later, that this issue would still remained unresolved. At that time,
more than 2,600 Head Tax payers and their families, registered with us to let
the Government see that real people felt the effects of racist legislation. In
the early 1990s, the B.C. Coalition of Head Tax Payers, Spouses and Descendants
helped to register another 1,500 new claimants who also authorized CCNC to
advocate on their behalf. Today, only a handful of Head Tax payers or their
surviving spouses remain alive.

However, the year 2006 promises to be a year that will become an
historical landmark for the Chinese Canadian community. Over the last year,
CCNC in collaboration with other redress-seeking groups who are primarily Head
Tax payers and their families, have made significant inroads to bringing about
resolution of the redress issue. The Prime Minister has taken action to fulfill
his promise to apologize and provide appropriate redress to the Head Tax payers
and their families.

This is a historic day for the Chinese Canadian community.  Our hardships and our contributions have
been recognized.  Our Government has
finally taken responsibility for resolving this long-standing issue of
justice.  While it is truly
regrettable that most of our elderly pioneers have passed away without hearing
this official apology, we are grateful for the urgency with which the Prime
Minister has moved on this issue for the benefit of the remaining Head Tax
payers and spouses.

At this moment, the Government recognizes the history of our
community’s pioneers’ contributions to this nation.  As
the process of
genuine reconciliation begins, we remain committed to a just and honourable
resolution so that our community may finally move forward as full and equal
members of Canadian society.    

Colleen Hua                                         

National President                                

June 22, 2006



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