Canada Day in Chinatown: ceremonies + head tax redress march

Canada Day in Chinatown: ceremonies + head tax redress march

Albert Woo, Todd Wong and Col. Howe
Lee hold certificates created by Chinese Canadian Military Museum,
recognizing Head Tax Apology by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the
Government of Canada – photo courtesy of Todd Wong


It was a bittersweet Canada Day in Chinatown on July 1st, Saturday.
The Chinese Cultural Centre courtyard was filled with formal ceremony
organized by the Chinese Benevolent Association, Chinese Cultural
Centre and the veterans of the Chinese Canadian Military Museum.

This was the first time I had attended Canada Day ceremonies in
Vancouver's Chinatown.  Usually I have attended events at Canada
Place, Granville Island or North Vancouver.  The cake only had
Chinese writing on it (so much for Canada's two official
languages).  My Grand-Uncle Dan was part of the flag raising
ceremonial crew for the Chinese Canadian veterans, Unit 280.


The veterans raised the Canadian Flag, Chinese lions danced, Chinese
dancers from the Vancouver Academy of Dance performed.  VIP's
included MLA Jenny Kwan and MP Libby Davies, as well as MP Ujjal Dosanjh,  MLA Richard
Lee, city councillors George Chow and Elizabeth Ball. 

See more pictures
image Canada Day

While outside the courtyard on Pender Street, leaders of the BC
Coalition of Head Tax Payers, Spouses and Descendants met with members
of the Chinese Community who were disatisfied with the Conservative
government's Chinese Head Tax redress package that failed to include
financial compensation to head tax descendants where the original head
tax payers and spouses were pre-deceased.

Harvey Lee and Cynthia Lee with head
tax descendant holding an actual head tax certificate, in front of the
Chinese Cultural Centre on Canada Day – photo Todd Wong

Here is a news article from CKNW

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) – Canada Day is a day of
celebration for most Canadians, but some Chinese-Canadians were protesting
the Conservative government's deal for families of people who paid the
Chinese head tax.

The BC
Coalition of Head Tax Payers, Spouses and Descendents is angry at the
Conservative government. They say the feds redress agreement for the Chinese
head tax only affects families where the tax payer or spouse is still alive.

Organizer Sid Tan says the group held a walk in Vancouver Saturday to protest.

believe that all head tax familes are equal. That
is, the government should not be rewarded for dragging its feet for 22 years,
albeit saving tax payers a heck of a lot of money,” Tan said.

redress is expected to be complete July 1st, 2007.


Part of the 70+ crowd that marched in Chinatown, who are dissatisfied
with the Federal government's Chinese Head Tax Redress package – photo
Todd Wong

See more pictures from Canada Day in Chinatown

See more pictures from Head Tax Redress March in Chinatown on Canada Day

2 thoughts on “Canada Day in Chinatown: ceremonies + head tax redress march

  1. Anonymous

    Hello Happy
    Sorry I couldn't read the website As I child in Vancouver during the the 1960's and 1970's I never learned to read Chinese, because emphasis was more on integration and assimilation for Chinese community. At that time, nobody predicted that Chinese immigration would increase so significantly.
    Regarding the staging of peaceful protests…. Non-profit society status is regulated by the Provincial government. I don't think any non-profit status is necessary, but check with local municipal laws. If the event is held in Vancouver, it would have to be Vancouver police who are called. If it is in Richmond, then RCMP.
    Regarding the peaceful demonstration by the head tax redress advocates on July 1st… I did not organize or take part in the event. I took pictures of them, and the officially recognized Canada Day celebrations which are organized by the CCC and the veterans group.
    There may be civic by-laws regarding the amount of people congregating in a specific site with protest signs. If the local police see a potential for violence, they would need laws that would enable them to difuse the situation and disperse the group.
    Cheers, Todd


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