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B.C. government to consult public over apology to Chinese community

November 27, 2013 - 10:52 AM

VICTORIA - British Columbia's government is once again trying to correct some historical wrongs committed against the province's Chinese community.

An all-party apology over the Chinese head tax fell apart last March when news broke about a controversial ethnic outreach strategy.

The strategy suggested formal apologies in the legislature to ethnic communities for historic wrongs could result in quick wins at the ballot box.

But work has begun again on an new apology, with the Ministry of International Trade announcing it will host community forums to discuss the wording and delivery, as well as legacy efforts.

The first forum will take place in Kamloops in December, and will be followed by January events in Vancouver, Kelowna, Richmond, Prince George, as well as a joint meeting in Burnaby-Coquitlam.

Canada started charging a head tax in the late 1800s to discourage Chinese immigration, the B.C. government supported it and even accepted federal payments.

FROM THE PROVINCE:

VICTORIA - The dates and locations of community forums to discuss the wording, delivery and legacy efforts for a formal apology to B.C.'s Chinese community for historical wrongs were confirmed today by Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism, Teresa Wat.

Community forums will be held on:

* Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 - Kamloops
* Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014 - Vancouver
* Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 - Kelowna
* Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 - Richmond
* Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 - Prince George
* Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 - Burnaby/Coquitlam

Over the coming weeks, the exact time and venue of each forum will be posted on: http://www.embracebc.ca/

The upcoming community forums build on the successful forum held on Nov. 17, 2013, in Victoria, Canada's oldest Chinatown.

The input received at the community forums and online submissions, will guide the wording, delivery and legacy efforts of a formal apology. In the next sitting of the legislature, the government plans to introduce a motion regarding a formal apology to British Columbia's Chinese community for historical wrongs.

If you are interested in providing feedback, but are not able to attend any consultation events, feedback can be sent directly to: apology.consultation@gov.bc.ca

For more information about the public consultation visit: http://www.embracebc.ca/

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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