@*@ Header
@*@ Single

This portrait of Chinese men and women in Vancouver is part of the archives at the University of British Columbia. On Thursday, the provincial government apologized to the Chinese community for past policies that once targeted immigrants and residents.
Photo Credit: Courtesy University of British Columbia

Western province apologizes to Chinese community

People of Chinese heritage in the western province of British Columbia got an apology from the provincial government for historical policies that once targeted them. The apology introduced in parliament Thursday, May 15 recognized 160 historical racist and discriminatory policies such as denying Chinese immigrants the right to vote in the 1870s.

In 2006, the federal government apologized for a so-called head-tax of 500 dollars imposed on Chinese people who wanted to settle in Canada. It included 20-thousand dollars in compensation for families or survivors who paid the tax.

null

The federal government imposed a $50 head tax on Chinese immigrants in 1885 after Chinese workers were no longer needed to work on the Canadian Pacific Railway. © CBC

The Chinese Canadian National Council says it cannot accept the British Columbia apology because it does not offer some form of redress for the tax. The B.C. government will however put one-million dollars into a legacy fund for educational initiatives.

Chinese immigration began in 1950s

The first immigrants from China to British Columbia arrived in the 1850s to join the Fraser Valley Gold Rush. By 1872, they were prohibited from voting. That prohibition wasn’t lifted until 1949.

By the 1880s, construction of the railway across Canada was employing thousands of Chinese immigrants. But after the railway was completed, to discourage further immigration, a 50-dollar head tax was imposed in 1885, and by 1903 it was raised to $500.

It’s estimated about 82,000 Chinese paid the tax until the Exclusion Act came into effect in 1923, effectively banning further immigration from China until 1947. Restrictions on Chinese immigration remained in place until 1967.

Posted in Politics, Society
@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *