Chinese Head Tax

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): – Mr. Speaker, between 1885 and 1923 the Canadian government collected $23 million through a head tax on Chinese immigrants to Canada. These racist and discriminatory policies of the past tore families apart and caused incredible financial hardship.

In 1984 Margaret Mitchell was the first MP who brought this issue before the House of Commons. In 2004 Parliament debated my motion asking for an apology and redress for head tax payers, their families and representatives. The NDP has championed this cause from day one.

I recently met with families and representatives in Vancouver who told me once again the importance of fighting this injustice by ensuring there is an official apology and redress for the remaining head tax payers, their spouses and descendants.

The government must do the right thing, and commit to an apology and redress for the thousands of Chinese Canadians who have been waiting so long for this injustice to be amended.