Statement in Memoriam of Charlie Quan


House of Commons


March 9, 2012

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today to pay tribute to a remarkable Canadian, Charlie Quan, who died February 23 at the age of 105.

Mr. Quan was one of the oldest living head tax payers in Canada and for many years fought for justice and redress from the unjust and racist head tax and Chinese Exclusion Act that separated him from his family.

He paid the $500 head tax in 1923 but it took until 2006 for the Government of Canada to issue a formal apology.

I had the honour to meet Mr. Quan, who was my constituent, and know that his perseverance inspired younger generations to keep advocating for justice. This struggle still goes on today for the many families who have not yet received compensation and justice.

Mr. Quan was an honourable gentleman, who only ever wanted the right thing to be done: for us all to learn from history to ensure these injustices are not repeated against any people or group.

I hope all parliamentarians and governments will honour his memory and work to end racism, discrimination and injustice.

I offer my deepest condolences to his family.