Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

May 08, 2008 15:00 ET

The Government of Canada Promotes Historical Recognition for Chinese-Canadian Community's Immigration Experiences

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 8, 2008) - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity), today announced $5 million in grants and contributions funding will be made available to the Chinese-Canadian community for community-based commemorative and educational projects related to immigration restrictions.

"The Head Tax and other immigration restrictions, which affected Chinese-Canadians, are an unfortunate chapter in our history and deserve recognition," said Secretary of State Kenney.

This funding is being provided under the Community Historical Recognition Program, which was first announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in June 2006. The Program will fund community-based projects that will allow communities affected by Canadian wartime measures and immigration restrictions to have their experiences acknowledged in a way that is meaningful to them. Eligible projects could include monuments, commemorative plaques, educational material, and exhibits.

Other components of the Community Historical Recognition Program will be announced in the days to come, as well as details regarding the National Historical Recognition Program, which will fund federal initiatives that educate Canadians about the history of wartime measures and immigration restrictions and the contributions of affected communities to the building of Canada.

Chinese-Canadians received an official apology by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2006 for the Head Tax imposed on Chinese immigrants. The Government also announced that it would make ex-gratia symbolic payments of $20,000 to living Head Tax payers and to persons who had lived in a conjugal relationship with a now-deceased Head Tax payer. To date, more than $12 million in ex-gratia payments have already been made to this community.

Guidelines and application forms for the Community Historical Recognition Program will be made available in English and French on the website of the Department of Canadian Heritage at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca once program details are finalized.

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

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Jason Kenney, PC, MP
    Secretary of State
    (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)
    Alykhan Velshi, Director of Communications
    Cell.: 613-867-0255
    kennej5@parl.gc.ca