Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

December 15, 2006 12:00 ET

Ottawa-Area Chinese Head-Tax Payers Receive Redress

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 15, 2006) - The Honourable John Baird, President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament (Ottawa West-Nepean), today presented cheques of $20,000 each to two Ottawa-area residents who had paid the Chinese Head Tax.

"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 Baird.

"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.

Details are being worked out for the application process for symbolic payments for living persons who were in a conjugal relationship with a Head-Tax payer who is now deceased.

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 under Media Room.)

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian
    Heritage and Status of Women
    Chisholm Pothier
    Director of Communications
    Office of the President of
    the Treasury Board
    Patrick Robert
    Press Secretary