TORONTO, June 22, 2006 - The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) congratulates the Canadian Government, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, for apologizing on behalf of all Canadians for the racist and discriminatory Head Tax and Exclusion Act against Chinese immigrants.
"We celebrate with members of the Chinese Canadian community and, in particular, those head tax payers who have survived to hear this apology, along with their families. It has been a long time coming, but this time it's better late than not at all," said Paul Winn, the CRRF's Interim Chief Operating Officer. "In making this apology, the Government recognizes that the actions of governments can be wrong. Not only do we have a duty to correct that wrong, but we should make every effort to restore the dignity of the persons affected."
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation which was established as part of the Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement of 1988, has formally adopted a policy that "acknowledges the right of discriminated communities to seek redress, including reparations" for injustices, including historical injustices.
"This was a terrible moment in our history; one of too many blatantly racist actions which were sanctioned by the government of the day. It is important that we learn from it, not only so that we don't repeat it, but that it helps to make us more aware of the more subtle racism and racial discrimination of today," concluded Winn.