Harper calls for apology to Chinese-Canadians
Updated: 2006-01-27 06:57
minister-elect Stephen Harper said that Chinese-Canadians "deserved" an apology
for state-sponsored racism that sparked a century-old row.
Minister-designate of Canada, Stephen Harper, speaks at a press conference
on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Harper said that Chinese-Canadians
"deserved" an apology for state-sponsored racism that sparked a
century-old row. [AFP]
"Chinese-Canadians are making an extraordinary impact on the building of our
country. They've also made a significant historical contribution despite many
obstacles," Harper said in his first address since winning a general election.
"The Chinese-Canadian community deserves an apology for the head tax and
appropriate acknowledgment and redress. On this occasion, I would like to take
the opportunity to wish all Canadians of Chinese descent a healthy and
prosperous New Year," he said
The Chinese New Year starts Sunday.
Prior to 1930, more than 80,000 Chinese immigrants were forced to pay a
special tax to enter Canada, of as much as 500 Canadian dollars (US$433), or two
Now, their descendants want redress for the tax, which was imposed only on
people from China by officials scared by a massive wave of immigration.
Long-time protests against the measures reached deafening levels during the
election campaign, 125 years after they began, as candidates mined for votes
among the country's one million Chinese-Canadians.
Many politicians have already personally apologized or promised to apologize
for the head tax.
However, many Chinese-Canadians want those elected to formally stand up in
Parliament to issue a formal apology and offer victims and their families