Andrew Scheer, the Leader of the Official Opposition, issues statement on the 11th anniversary of the Chinese Head Tax Apology OTTAWA, ON – June 22nd, 2017 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and Leader of the Official Opposition, issued the following statement today: “Today marks the anniversary of the historic Chinese head tax apology by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Although Canada has had a long standing reputation as a warm and welcoming nation, this was not always the case. During the 19th century, Canada experienced the British Columbia gold rush and the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which brought an influx of Chinese immigrants to Canada’s west coast. With the completion of the railway, the Canadian government imposed a ‘head tax’ on all Chinese entering Canada. In 1923, the Canadian government passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which virtually prohibited anyone from China legally entering the country. This ban remained in place until 1947. This truly was one of the darkest chapters in Canadian history. “Eleven years ago today, Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed the House of Commons to deliver a formal apology for the head tax that was imposed on Chinese immigrants. Prime Minister Harper highlighted: “We have a collective responsibility to build a country base firmly on the notion of equality of opportunity, regardless of one’s race or ethnic origin.” “Canada is proud to feature one of the largest Chinese Diasporas in the world, and we are grateful for the outstanding contributions Canadians of Chinese heritage have made to this great country. On behalf of the Official Opposition and our Conservative Caucus, I encourage all Canadians to use this commemoration as an opportunity to recognize those who have given so much to make this country what it is today.” -30- For more information: Anthony Farrow (613) 995-9054 [email protected] Jake Enwright 613-290-8298 [email protected]