Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

December 15, 2006 10:00 ET

Canada's New Government Provides ex Gratia Payments to Greater-Toronto-Area Chinese Head Tax Payers

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 15, 2006) - The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, today presented redress payments to seven Toronto-area residents who paid the Chinese Head Tax. Bing Yen Tom, Betty Fong (Lee Toy Kew), Wing Hong Au, Den Ark Jasper Tang Ung, Frank (Poy Fong) Lim, Yee Nui Won, and Gook Fung Tom each received a cheque for $20,000.

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

(This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Media Room.)

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Status of Women
    Chisholm Pothier
    Director of Communications
    819-997-7788
    or
    Canadian Heritage
    Donald Boulanger
    A/Chief, Media Relations
    819-994-9101