Chinese-Canadian Community Launches Project to Raise Awareness of Head Tax and Exclusion Act

Bookmark and Share

Ottawa, December 8, 2012 — Two projects highlighting stories of Ottawa area Chinese Canadians affected by the Chinese Head Tax and the Exclusion Act were launched today at the Ottawa Public Library.

A website called “Lives of family” and an interactive kiosk display will both feature historical photography, video interviews and stories of Chinese-Canadian families and communities who were affected by the restrictive measures.

Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism, Chungsen Leung, attended the event on behalf of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

The website received a $50,000 contribution from the Government of Canada, under the Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP). The interactive kiosk, also funded by the CHRP, will be on display in Ottawa for the next six months—at the Ottawa Public Library until mid-February 2013 and moving to Nepean Centrepointe Branch thereafter.

“The Government of Canada recognizes the experience of the Chinese-Canadian community affected by the immigration restrictions applied in Canada,” said Mr. Leung. “I am confident that the stories shared will serve not only as effective reminders of a difficult time in our history, but also recognize the enormous contributions the Chinese-Canadian community has made to build our nation.”

The Chinese Immigration Act of 1885 imposed a fixed fee, called the Head Tax, on each Chinese person entering Canada. In 1923, the Chinese Exclusion Act replaced the Head Tax and barred all but a few Chinese from entering Canada until it was repealed in 1947. In 2006, the Government of Canada made a full apology for these discriminatory measures.

“The Chinese Head Tax and the Exclusion Act mark an unfortunate chapter in our nation’s history. The policies were race-based and inconsistent with values that Canadians hold today,” said Mr. Leung.

Since the launch of the CHRP in 2008, the Government of Canada has contributed $4.5 million toward projects related to the experience of the Chinese-Canadian community.

Visit the “Lives of family” website at

Follow us on Twitter (new window to unfollow or login):

For further information (media only), please contact:

Alexis Pavlich
Minister’s Office
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada’s economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.

Share this page

Do You Need Immigration Help?

Contact us for professional assessment, review of eligibility and immigration advice. Our staff is here to help you resolve your immigration matters, provide assistance and answer your questions. We are committed to providing service excellence to our valued clients.

Give Us A Call


Email Us At