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[OPIRG-EVENTS] Head Tax Event
OTTAWA HEAD TAX REDRESS FORUM: Sunday, March 18, 2001
> The Ottawa Chapter of the Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNC) will
> host a public forum for Head Tax payers, widows, descendants and all
> interested parties on Sunday, March 18, 2001, 1:30-3:30 p.m., at the
> Chinese Community Building, 80 Florence St., Ottawa. This Ottawa forum
> will provide information about the Head Tax, Chinese Exclusion Act and the
> recent lawsuit against the Federal government. This class action lawsuit
> was filed under the equality rights section of the Canadian Charter of
> Rights and is seeking compensation for these discriminatory acts. In
> attendance will be two of the three plaintiffs, Quen-ying Lee, 89, and her
> son, Yew Lee, who are both from the Ottawa area. Also present will be
> other Head Tax payees and descendants as well as counsel for the
> plaintiffs, Avvy Go, and CCNC National President, May Cheng.
> The Chinese were the only ethnic group forced to pay a discriminatory Head
> Tax to enter Canada. Enacted in 1885, after the completion of the CPR, the
> tax was intended to restrict Chinese immigration to Canada. The tax
> started at $50 in 1885 and was raised to $500 in 1903. In the 38 years
> that the Head Tax was in effect, more than 82,000 Chinese paid
> approximately $23 million.
> In 1923, the Head Tax was replaced by the Chinese Immigration Act (or
> "Exclusion Act") which was intended to stop Chinese from entering Canada.
> From 1923 until 1947, when the Exclusion Act was repealed (and Chinese
> Canadians regained the right to vote), only eight Chinese were admitted to
> Canada while 55,000 left. For those who stayed, the act shattered their
> dreams of family re-unification. Husbands were separated from their wives
> and children for a quarter of a century, causing untold hardship and
> For further information please contact Jonas Ma of CCNC-Ottawa, at
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