Reflections of Activists

Chinese Canadians and the Head Tax Redress Campaign

The following essays provide a pan-Canadian reflection from various activists and Head Tax families on the impact of the Chinese Head Tax and Chinese Exclusion Act and the redress campaign. The first essay is written by Jonathan Lee whose great-grandfather paid the Head Tax and survived to hear the Parliamentary Apology in 2006. Jonathan provides a short summary of Chinese Canadian history in his essay. Gary Yee offers his reflections from aboard the Redress Express and Sid Chow Tan keeps his promise to Charlie Quan, the first Head Tax payer to receive an ex-gratia payment. Elwin Xie weaves his rich family story into the Vancouver perspective on the Apology while Gary Gee offers us the unique perspective from the Prairies and the North. Simon, Debbie and Eric Yam recount their family’s tragic Head Tax story. Alice Choy interviews the Montreal Head Tax families while Albert Lee uncovers the common experience of family separation. Victor Wong provides a summary report on the Head Tax redress campaign.

Jonathan Lee

Gary Yee

Sid Chow Tan

Gary Gee

Simon Yam, Debbie Yam and Eric Yam

Alice Choy

Albert Lee

Victor Wong

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