政府承認錯誤但不道歉 將撥款250萬用於紀念歷史、教育後代 未來擬擴充為1250萬
【本報記者阮耀毅溫哥華報導】聯邦多元文化部長陳卓愉昨日宣布，已與全加華人聯會 (NCCC )就人頭稅平反達成初步協議。聯邦將撥款250萬元用於紀念歷史（Commemoration ) 與敎育後代（Education) ，讓後人記取歷史敎訓。未來金額將擴充爲1250萬元。他強調這筆款項絕非賠償 (Compensation )，政府僅承認錯誤（Acknowledgement)，但不道歉(Apology) °
當被問到平權會（CCNC) 認爲他們並非要求賠償，僅是要求退款(Refund )時，陳卓愉強調平權會所言不實，他們當初明明控吿政府要求賠償，並遭高院判決敗訴。他反問平權會：「繳過的稅，如何能退？」
English translation: Federal Government and National Congress of Chinese Canadians
Sign the Head Tax Agreement
The Government Acknowledges Its Mistake but Does Not Apologize
Will Allocate 2.5 Million to Commemorate History and Educate Future Generations
Plans to Expand to 12.5 Million in the Future
Reported by Ruan Yaoyi from Vancouver
The Minister of State (Multiculturalism) Raymond Chan announced yesterday that a preliminary agreement had been reached with the National Congress of Chinese Canadians (NCCC) on the redress of the head tax. The federal government will allocate 2.5 million dollars to commemorate the history of the head tax (Commemoration) and educate future generations so that they can learn the lessons from it. The amount will be expanded to 12.5 million in the future. He emphasized that this amount is definitely not a compensation. The government acknowledges the mistake, (Acknowledgement) but does not apologize (Apology).
Raymond Chan believes that the signing of the agreement is a historic moment for all Chinese. Before taking up his post as Minister of Multiculturalism, he asked Prime Minister Martin to look the issue of the head tax in the face and was supported by the Prime Minister. Now after many years of delay, the issue of the head tax, which the Chinese community has been widely concerned by, has finally been solved.
He stressed that emotionally, he would support the need for individual compensation for head tax payers. However, every era has its discrimination issues, and the Supreme Court of Canada has decided that the government does not need to compensate the head tax payers. The federal government cannot apologize publicly due to their overall policies and legal considerations. Otherwise, there will be endless claims.
When he was told that the Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNC) thought that they were not asking for compensation but a refund, Raymond Chan stressed that it was not true. They had clearly claimed to the government for compensation and had lost the case in the court. He asked the CCNC in reply: “How can a paid tax be refunded?”
He criticized the CCNC for misleading the people and for repeatedly claiming that the government had never communicated with the CCNC. In fact, the CCNC saw the draft content of the agreement with the government first. The issue is that the CCNC refuses to accept the government’s plans or negotiations, not that the government will not confer with the CCNC.
The cochair of the NCCC, Ping T. Tan, once again appealed to all Chinese Canadians to unite in accepting the agreement, which would let the people of the whole country understand the historical tragedies experienced by the Chinese by commemorating history and educating future generations.
He welcomes all Chinese communities that support the agreement to actively participate in the Chinese Congress in Vancouver that started today to discuss how to manage and make use of the federal grants. He also sends the message to the CCNC, in the hopes that the CCNC will attend the meeting and discuss the plan.
Representatives from the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, the Chinese Cultural Center of Montreal, and the Chinese Canadian Military Museum Society also attended the signing ceremony yesterday. Chinese leagues such as S.U.C.C.E.S.S., the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver, the Chinese Benevolent Association of Canada and the Chinese Benevolent Association have all expressed their support.
[Photo]: The Chinese League is dissatisfied with the head tax agreement. From left: Yao Yong’an, Zhu Weiguang, Zhou Minghui, Grace·Rongzi (by pronunciation), and Lie Guoyuan. (Ruan Yaoyi /Photography)