Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

December 18, 2006 12:31 ET

Canada's New Government Provides ex-gratia Payment to Chinese Head-Tax Payer in Edmonton

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 18, 2006) - Member of Parliament (Edmonton-St. Albert) John Williams today presented a $20,000 cheque to an Edmonton resident who had paid the Chinese Head Tax.

"I am pleased to say that Canada's New Government continues to fulfill its commitment to Chinese Head-Tax payers by providing these symbolic payments," said Mr. Williams.

"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," said the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women.

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 Canada from 1885 to 1923. A similar tax existed in the Dominion of Newfoundland between 1906 and 1949, before the province entered Confederation.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Status of Women
    Chisholm Pothier
    Director of Communications
    819-997-7788
    or
    Office of John Williams
    Member of Parliament for Edmonton-St. Albert
    Josh McLaren
    Legislative Assistant
    613-996-4722
    or
    Canadian Heritage
    Donald Boulanger
    A/Chief, Media Relations
    819-994-9101