J O U R N A L O F C H I N E S E O V E R S E A S V 4 N 1 1 2 7 Reconciling with History: The Chinese-Canadian Head Tax Redress P E T E R L I O N J UNE 22, 2006, S TEPHEN H ARPER , P RIME M INISTER OF C ANADA , offered a full apology to Chinese Canadians at the Parliament of Canada for the imposition of the head tax and expressed sorrow for the subsequent exclusion of Chinese immigrants as a result of the 1923 Chinese Immigration Act. It took 121 years after the first head tax was levied on Chinese entering Canada and 83 years after the passing of the 1923 Act before Canada officially recognized the historical wrongdoings to the Chinese. Despite intense lobbying by Chinese-Canadian community organizations and individuals since the first Chinese Canadian filed a claim in 1983 to have the amount of the head tax returned to him, it was only after seven prime ministers had taken office, and many negotiations and court proceedings had taken place, that a settlement was reached in 2006. Why did the Canadian
Journal of Chinese Overseas – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2008
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