Canada's New Government Provides ex gratia
Payments to Greater-Toronto-Area Chinese Head Tax Payers
TORONTO, December 15, 2006 – The Honourable Beverley J. Oda,
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, today presented redress
payments to four Toronto-area residents who paid the Chinese Head Tax. Bing
Yen Tom, Betty Fong (Lee Toy Kew), Frank (Poy Fong)
Lim and Gook Fung Tom each received a cheque for
“I am proud that Canada 's
New Government is continuing to fulfill its commitment to Chinese Head Tax
payers by providing these symbolic payments,” said Minister Oda.
“With the delivery of ex-gratia payments to living Head Tax payers,
we are taking one more step toward recognizing past experiences and hardships
and to contributing to healing in the Chinese Canadian community.”
On October 20, 2006, Minister Oda participated in a ceremony in
Vancouver to present
the first ex-gratia
payments. These payments follow from the official apology to Chinese
Canadians for imposition of the Head Tax, made by Prime Minister Stephen
Harper on June 22, 2006, on behalf of the Government of Canada.
On December 1, Canada 's
New Government announced that individuals who were in a conjugal relationship
with a Head-Tax payer who is now deceased may apply for ex-gratia
symbolic payments of $20,000.
The Head Tax was imposed on Chinese immigrants entering
1885 to 1923. A similar tax existed in the Dominion of Newfoundland between
1906 and 1949, before the province entered Confederation.
Director of Communication
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women
A/ Chief, Media Relations