Chinese Head Tax: Chan was missing… now Chan is found and demanding an apology…

Chinese Head Tax: Chan was missing… now Chan is found and demanding an apology…

Where
has Raymond Chan been during the Head Tax apology?  Why did he NOT
congratulate the head tax redress groups for being able to receive what
he and his government could not give them. 

Why has he
NOT been criticizing the government for leaving hundreds of thousands
of Chinese head tax descendants out in the cold, while less than 0.6%
of head tax certificates are recognized and honoured with symbolic
redress payments?

Why did Raymond Chan NOT seek the 2nd legal
opinion that David Emerson, Stephen Owen and Ujjal Dosanjh were able to
find?  I spoke to Ujjal during the Dec 2005 campaign, and he said
that an apology in Parliament would cost nothing, and there would be no
liability. 

During the Dec 2005 election campaign –
Raymond apologized to me personally for not being able to give what we
were asking for – apology + one payment per certificate.

The
Liberals such as Chan and Hedy Fry were blindly following previous 1994
policy decisions of Sheila Finestone who said “We wish we could rewrite
history. We wish we could relive the past. We cannot…We believe our
only choice lies in using limited government resources to create a more
equitable society now and a better future for generations to come.
Therefore, the government will not grant financial compensation for the
requests made.”

Finestone said that statememt because cabinet
would not pay compensation… All the head tax money that had been
collected… had already long been spent.

Our government should NOT profit from racism.

Cabinets
change, Governments change, Ministers change.  It takes political
will and leadership to make the decisions that resulted in the 1988
Japanese Canadian Redress, even though they went through a number of
ministers to get it done.

The Conservatives are in power now
(albeit in a minority govt), and Jason Kenney is the new Secretary of
State for Multiculturalism (Raymond Chan's old post).  Kenney has
been going through files and memos and recetnly stated that Chan misled
the public about the liabilities of head tax redress.  Chan said
Kenney is wrong and has since demanded Kenny apologize to him.

 


Chan demands apology from Tory minister

Peter O'Neil

Vancouver Sun

Thursday, February 15, 2007
OTTAWA
— Former Liberal multiculturalism minister Raymond Chan rose in Parliament
today to demand an apology from a Conservative minister who accused Chan of
misleading Chinese-Canadians on the head tax controversy.

He
directed his appeal to Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney, who alleged in
the House of Commons last year that Chan was falsely warning Canadians that a
head tax apology would expose the federal government to potential costly
lawsuits.

Chan
has cited internal documents obtained by The Vancouver Sun, dating from
mid-2004 to early 2006, after the Conservatives formed government, warning of potential legal problems.

“The
minister of multiculturalism must come clean and apologize to this House, to
Canadians and in particular to the Chinese-Canadian community for misleading
them,” Chan ( Richmond )
said in a statement.

Kenney,
who said earlier this week he had no intention of apologizing, couldn’t
be reached for comment.

Chan,
in a telephone conference call, said later he and the Liberal party now support
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s apology and promise to provide $20,000 cheques to surving payers of the
racist head tax. The same payments are also going to widows of deceased payers.

Chan
said he always tried to develop a “collective” position, and noted
that Tory MPs Inky Mark and Bev Oda both supported the former Liberal
government’s refusal to apologize and offer individual redress.

He
said all four parties are backing redress now even though there still are legal
concerns that other ethnic groups, as well as Chinese-Canadians not eligible
for the redress cheques, could use the policy to file
challenges under the Charter of Rights.

“If
everybody can handle that legal issue I don’t have to be opposing to that
decision,” Chan said.

“That
concern is always been there. I think that people are making decisions with
that in their mind.”

Kenney,
when he was Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s parliamentary secretary last
year, rose in the House of Commons to denounce Chan’s stated refusal to
apologize because of legal concerns.

“That
was the excuse, but we have since discovered, according to Access to
Information, that he received exactly the opposite advice,” Kenney said
in May, 2006, a month before the Conservative government apologized and offered
$20,000 cheques to surviving head tax payers or the
widows of deceased head tax payers.

Kenney
cited a 2004 Canadian Heritage briefing note to Chan which listed numerous
groups, including Chinese Canadians, that might seek redress measures similar
to the $422 million package given in 1988 to  victims
of the Second World War policy of interning Japanese-Canadians.

The
note stated that any claims by other ethnic groups under the Charter of Rights
for equal treatment “would have to demonstrate close parallels to the
Japanese Canadians case in order to be successful,” wrote Judith LaRocque.

“It
appears that, from a legal point of view, none of the outstanding claims would
meet this burden.”

Kenney, asked by a fellow Tory MP if Chan
had his “facts straight” on legal issues relating to head tax
redress, told MPs: “I think the member of
Richmond should apologize to Chinese
Canadians for not telling –“

(Kenney
was cut off by the Speaker before finishing his sentence.)

Chan
said today that Kenney mis-read the 2004 briefing
note.

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