Head Tax and Exclusion Act (1885-1946)

This proud history of resilience was recognized on June 22, 2006, when Prime Minister Stephen Harper stood in the House of Commons in Canada’s 39th Parliament, and apologized to Chinese Canadians for more than six decades of legislated racism and other forms of discrimination, vowing that it would never happen again.

Photo credit from Toronto Star

But history has a habit of repeating, and political and social animus against Canadians of Chinese heritage has periodically resurfaced. Politics and law resulted in the Chinese Head Tax (1885 to 1923) and Exclusion Act (1923 to 1947), which penalized and attempted to exclude Chinese from Canadian society for at least 62 years.

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