Application Process in Place for Persons in a Conjugal Relationship with a Now-Deceased Chinese Head Tax Payer

This message just in from Victor Wong, executive director of the Chinese Canadian National Council


The spouses
application is now online at:

http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/multi/redress-redressement/index_e.cfm

Points to keep in mind:

  1. All applicants should name a beneficiary
  2. There will be a process for spouses who have passed away since Feb
    6, 2006
  3. Payments are made to individuals ie. Not
    on a one certificate-one payment basis. This impacts
    on families with former spouses.

CCNC will be calling a news conference for
tomorrow (Saturday) at 1pm EST at CCNC.

cheers,

Victor

 

News Release Banner

Application
Process in Place for Persons in a Conjugal Relationship with a Now-Deceased
Chinese Head Tax Payer

GATINEAU, December 1, 2006 – The Honourable Beverley J. Oda,
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, today announced that
individuals who were in a conjugal relationship with a Chinese Head Tax payer
who is now deceased may apply for ex-gratia symbolic payments
of $20,000.

” Canada 's
new Government is following through on its promise to act as quickly as
possible to put this next phase of the application process in place,”
said Minister Oda. “I presented the first ex-gratia payments to Head
Tax payers in Vancouver ,
in late October. For this second phase of the process, we could see the first
payments made as early as February.”
On June 22, 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered an official apology
on behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians for the Head Tax paid
by Chinese immigrants.
The Head Tax was imposed on Chinese immigrants entering
Canada from 1885 to 1923. The
Dominion of Newfoundland also imposed a Head Tax on Chinese immigrants from
1906 to 1949, the year it joined Confederation.

The Guide and Application Form (in a single document) is
available in English and French on the Department of Canadian Heritage
website at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca.
Print copies may be obtained by phoning the Canadian Heritage Help Line (888 776-8584) or Service Canada (800 622-6232). Forms are also available at
Service Canada Centres, a list of which can be
found at www1.servicecanada.gc.ca/en/gateways/where_you_live/menu.shtml

The Guide and Application Form are also available in Chinese (traditional and
simplified) from the Department of Canadian Heritage for use as a reference
tool only. Application forms must be completed in English or French.

Information
:

Chisholm Pothier
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
and Status of Women
819 997-7788

Donald Boulanger
A/Chief, Media Relations
Canadian Heritage
819 994-9101

Backgrounder
The Issue
On June 22, 2006, the Prime Minister of Canada outlined a package of
measures. It includes the following:

 

  • an
    official apology on behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians
    for the Head Tax paid by Chinese immigrants from 1885 to 1923 to Canada,
    and from 1906 to 1949 to the Dominion of Newfoundland
  • ex-gratia
    payments (payments made voluntarily) of $20,000 to living Head Tax
    payers and living persons who have been in a conjugal relationship with
    a Head Tax payer who is now deceased
  • a
    $24-million Community Historical Recognition Program to provide grant
    and contribution funding for community projects linked to wartime
    measures and immigration restrictions
  • a
    $10-million National Historical Recognition Program to fund federal
    initiatives, developed in partnership with other stakeholders

On October 20, 2006, the Honourable Beverley J.
Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, participated in a cheque-presentation ceremony in
Vancouver , British Columbia ,
for the first ex-gratia
payments to Chinese immigrants who paid the Head Tax. The Honourable
David Emerson, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific
Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, accompanied Minister Oda at the
announcement.

History

Over 15 000 Chinese labourers came to
Canada
in the mid-19th century to assist in the construction of the Canadian Pacific
Railway. Once the railway was complete, a number of measures were enacted to
stem the flow of immigrants from China
to Canada .

Beginning with the Chinese
Immigration Act
of 1885, a Head Tax of $50 was imposed
on Chinese newcomers. The Government subsequently raised this amount to $100,
in 1900, and then to $500, in 1903. The tax remained in place until 1923,
when the Chinese
Immigration Act
was amended and effectively excluded
most Chinese immigrants to Canada
until 1947. Newfoundland
imposed a Head Tax on Chinese immigrants from 1906 to 1949, before joining
Confederation.

At the time, this Head Tax was considered legal by Canadian Courts. However,
it is inconsistent with the values that Canadians hold today. However, the
Government of Canada accepts that the Head Tax was inconsistent with the
values that Canadians hold today. The measures announced by the Prime
Minister in June were a step forward recognizing this historic event.

 

http://www.pch.gc.ca/newsroom/index_e.cfm?fuseaction=displayDocument&DocIDCd=CBO061162

 

end

 

Media Advisory

December 1, 2006

 

Application Process Announced for Surviving Spouses of Chinese Head Tax
Payers

CCNC Seeks Inclusion of
All Head Tax Families

 

TORONTO. The Government of
Canada today released the application process for surviving spouses (Persons in
a Conjugal Relationship with a Now-Deceased Chinese Head Tax Payer)
living as of
February 6, 2006. As per the redress announcement of June 22, 2006, surviving
spouses
of deceased Head Tax Payers
who had paid the Dominion of Canada Head
Tax (1885-1923) or the Dominion of Newfoundland Head Tax (1906-1949) are
eligible for ex-gratia payments of $20,000.

 

Please see: http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/multi/redress-redressement/index_e.cfm

 

CCNC will hold a news conference to discuss these developments:

Where:            
302 Spadina Avenue,
Suite 507

When:              December
2, 2006 at 1:00 pm EST

 

“The Canadian Government has today
taken another concrete step in implementing the redress announcement of June 22nd,”
Colleen Hua, CCNC National President said today. “We take this
opportunity to urge the Canadian Government to be inclusive of all head tax
families in this process of reconciliation and extend redress payments to
families where the Head Tax payer and spouse have both passed away.”

 

CCNC and redress-seeking groups have
identified more than 420 living spouses of deceased head tax payers across
Canada
this past year and will endeavour to contact the
surviving head tax payers and their families. “A handful of the spouses
who registered with us have passed away in these last few months,” Victor
Wong, CCNC Executive Director said today. “We will continue to work
collaboratively with the Government to restore honour
and dignity to all head tax families and to the community.”

 

Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNC)
continues to work with other redress-seeking groups including the Ontario
Coalition of Chinese Head Tax Payers and Families (Ontario Coalition),
Association of Chinese Canadians for Equality and Solidarity (ACCESS), Head Tax
Families Society of Canada (formerly the B.C. Coalition of Head Tax Payers,
Spouses and Descendants), Calgary Chinese Head Tax Redress Coordinating
Committee, Edmonton Chinese HTEA Redress Committee, Saskatchewan Chinese Head
Tax Redress Committee, Chinese Canadian Redress Alliance (CCRA), Halifax
Chinese Redress Committee, and the Steering Committee on Chinese Newfoundland
Head Tax in the campaign to redress the Chinese Head Tax and Chinese Exclusion
Act.

 

– 30-

 

For more information, please contact:

Victor Wong, CCNC, (416) 977-9871

 

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