Ontario marks first anniversary of Chinese Canadian Head Tax Redress

    QUEEN'S PARK, June 22 /CNW/ - Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Mike Colle commemorated the first Chinese Canadian Head Tax Redress Day with
head tax payers and their families at the Ontario Legislature today.
    "Ontario's greatest strength is its diversity. However, there have been
times in our nation's history when we have not recognized, valued or supported
this reality," said Minister Colle. "Today's commemoration is a celebration of
victory of conscience and recognizing a profound injustice."
    On October 4, 2006, the Ontario Legislature passed a unanimous resolution
to recognize June 22 as Chinese Canadian Head Tax Redress Day. The date marks
the landmark apology by the federal government to Chinese Canadians, last
June, for the head tax of 1885, 1900, and 1903, and the Chinese Exclusion Act
of 1923.
    From 1880 to 1885, some 15,000 Chinese were brought to Canada to build
the Canadian Pacific Railway. When the job was completed, Canada imposed a
head tax of $50 to stop further Chinese immigration. That tax rose to
$500-nearly two years' wages-in 1903 and remained in effect until 1923 when
the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed. That act was rescinded in 1947, when
Chinese Canadians won the right to citizenship.

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Rick Byun, Minister's Office, (416) 325-3460;
Michel Payen-Dumont, Communications Branch, (416) 314-7010

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