TORONTO, April 6, 2006 - The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) welcomes the Stephen Harper government's plan "to offer an apology for the Chinese Head Tax", as indicated in the Speech from the Throne.
"The CRRF firmly believes that, as with the Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement, the importance of an apology for past racist acts which have been sanctioned by the state cannot be overstated," said Paul Winn, the Foundation's Interim Chief Operating Officer. "This is a measure that is long overdue, and indications are that the Harper Government is making the right moves to ensure that relevant groups in the Chinese Canadian community are being consulted on appropriate forms of redress."
The CRRF, which was founded as part of the Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement signed in 1988, has formally adopted a policy of supporting the right of communities which were the subject of past wrongs, to seek redress and reparations as those communities determine. The previous government had offered a form of redress, to the Chinese community, without an apology.
"We are however disappointed that the Harper Government gave no indication of a plan to tackle the issue of racism and racial discrimination, particularly in the federal public service," Winn notes. "We hope that this does not mean that it is not a priority. We` have already raised the issue of systemic discrimination in the public sector with the new government that we hope we will see some action on that soon."