Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

December 08, 2006 15:58 ET

Chinese Head-Tax Payers in British Columbia Receive Redress

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 8, 2006) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, and Member of Parliament (Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon), today presented redress cheques to two residents of British Columbia who had paid the Chinese Head Tax. Joe Yew Chow and Kwan Lam 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 Strahl.

"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. Similar legislation existed in the Dominion of Newfoundland, which imposed a Head Tax on Chinese immigrants from 1906 to 1949, before joining 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
    Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
    Colin Metcalfe
    Regional Affairs Director
    604-666-4500