發文作者:kahoo | 15 二月, 2007

精彩重溫: 李家豪於TORONTO STAR 客席撰寫專欄文章

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  1. Congratulations 家豪, we are all VERY proud of you. Keep up the good work. I’ll spend a few minutes later today going through your article and will post some comments on your “virgin article" on the Star. Anyway, here it is:

    Apology makes this year special
    Canada’s formal recognition of past injustices provides added reasons for celebration and hope
    Feb 15, 2007 04:30 AM
    Simon Li
    Special to the Star
    The Year of the Pig in 2007, just like the one four cycles ago on the Chinese zodiac, will be memorable for 98-year-old Toronto resident Foon Hay Lum.
    For the first time since her arrival in Canada during the Diefenbaker years, the head-tax payer’s widow says she will truly celebrate Chinese New Year. But as her daughter Har Ying Lee, 70, puts it: “The comfortable smile on her face today comes after a long, arduous journey."
    In 1921, Lum’s husband, Jack Nam Lum, paid a $500 head tax levied against all Chinese immigrants by the Canadian government to enter the country. He eventually made his way to Guelph, where he began work at a laundry. In the mid-1930s, Lum travelled west to Vancouver to board a boat back to China to find a wife. The couple soon had a son and, two years later, a baby daughter.
    But when Lum decided to return to Canada, he was dismayed to find that legislation under the Immigration Act (1923) – known to Chinese Canadians as the Exclusion Act – barred his wife and children from joining him.
    The family was divided, says Lee. She and her mother and brother were stuck living in China, bitterly struggling to survive a the war with Japan, while her father was living as a bachelor and desperately hoping they would all be reunited one day.
    In 1954, his son immigrated to Canada, but his wife and daughter had to wait five more years.
    Lum’s dream came true during another Year of the Pig, in 1959, a couple of months after his wife and daughter were finally allowed to join him in Canada. The Exclusion Act had been repealed in 1947, and further discriminatory legislation against Chinese and other immigrants was rescinded over the next decade.
    Lee recalls how her father spoke about the injustice of the head tax – which no other immigrant community had to pay – and about the Exclusion Act that kept them apart for so many years. He often talked about getting the hard-earned head-tax money back.
    When her father died in 1973, Lee kept his head-tax certificate.
    This lunar new year – four full cycles of the Chinese zodiac since she came to Canada – Lee says she can finally honour her father’s wishes, following Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s formal apology to Chinese Canadians for the injustices of the head tax and Exclusion Act in the House of Commons on June 22, 2006.
    As part of the apology and settlement, the federal government is making payments of $20,000 each to surviving head-tax payers or their surviving spouses. Lee has been told by officials at Heritage Canada that her mother’s cheque is coming soon.
    “During the coming Ching Ming Festival, I will pray before my father’s grave as usual, and leave an offering of his favourite shrimp dumplings and drinks," says Lee, speaking of the “grave-sweeping" holiday on the Chinese calendar that falls early in the new year and is a time for families to pay respects to their ancestors.
    “We’ll use the head-tax compensation money to buy Ching Ming paper gifts, like money for the afterlife, and other items that can be burnt and sent as offerings to my father."
    Lee says she’ll add one more item to her regular offerings this year: an official copy of the Prime Minister’s apology, written in Chinese, English and French.
    News of Canada’s head-tax apology has spread to other parts of the world. While it made headlines during and after the last federal election, it was also replayed on radio and television and in newspapers throughout China and many other parts of Asia.
    In the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing people discussed the head-tax apology and compensation at length during visits to local teahouses.
    Deborah Maak, a Chinese Canadian who visited Nanjing last year, says emotions were running high: “Once the Chinese realized that I’m from Canada, they would congratulate me and even say, `Thank you, Canada! You must be proud that your country has righted a historic wrong.'"
    “I was very touched," says Maak, describing an ongoing campaign by some of the city’s elderly residents to get Japan to apologize for the Rape of Nanjing. The success of the Canadian head-tax redress movement was a big morale boost for survivors who witnessed the 1937 killings and rapes of Chinese by the Japanese military after the fall of Nanjing in a conflict that became part of the Second World War.
    “Nanjing survivors see our government’s apology as their qiangxinzhen," says Maak, referring to a Chinese expression that literally means “an injection of hope and power."
    “Even though the Japanese government has shown no sign of offering them an official apology or compensation, those old survivors told me that Chinese Canadians’ two-decades-old fight for redress has encouraged them not to give up easily," she adds.
    “In their eyes, this is exactly what the Japanese government is hoping to see: the longer Tokyo can delay any action, the faster the public outcry for apology and compensation will go away."
    It’s a point Lee and her mother understand very well.
    While excited that the settlement money will finally allow them to renovate their Parkdale home, where her mother still lives, Lee says the government’s redress is by no means complete.
    “Prime Minister Harper only provided compensation to those head-tax payers or their spouses who survived to see his election victory … but what about those who also paid the same head tax but died before last year’s federal election? Their families got no compensation at all. Is this what we call a just society? I feel very sorry for these head-tax families."
    It’s the issue of social justice that resonates among Chinese Canadians.
    Callers to a Toronto-area Chinese-language radio show frequently comment on Canadian politics, with lively discussions recently on income trusts and Maher Arar’s case, as well as on news from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and any other place where Chinese live.
    For immigrants from Hong Kong, the head-tax apology held special significance, particularly for those who sought Canadian citizenship after Beijing’s Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 and were apprehensive about the return of the former British colony to mainland Chinese sovereignty in 1997.
    “I love democracy; that’s why I came to Canada. I wanted to better my family’s life," says Mr. So, a caller to the daily radio show, Power Politics Morning, broadcast by Toronto First Radio on AM 770.
    “As a new immigrant who came here in 1994 and never had to pay the historical head tax, some of my friends were curious why I care so much about the head-tax redress campaign," says So. “But I think they miss the point: If I didn’t care so much about social justice issues like this, why would I bother coming to Canada?"
    Simon Li is the host of Power Politics Morning, a popular Chinese-language call-in show on Toronto First Radio AM 770. He researches Chinese Canadian history at Queen’s University.

  3. 加國民遭美拘押禁見領事 哈珀不敢向布殊提人權
    欺善怕惡 多次高調指摘中國 2007年2月15日
    廣 告

    【明報溫哥華專訊】加拿大聯邦政府處理玉山江(Huseyin Celil,前譯塞利)一案上,多次高調高舉人權旗幟向中國政府表達不滿,並堅稱加國有義務為所有加拿大人出頭。不過,原來一名加拿大籍少年卡塔(Omar Khadr)同樣以涉嫌恐怖活動,被美軍扣押在古巴關塔那摩灣(Guantanamo Bay)基地5年,加拿大外交人員同樣無法接觸到他,少年的律師及維權人士強烈批評哈珀政府厚此薄彼,其律師更懷疑哈珀政府針對中國是另有目的,不是維護人權那麼簡單,是虛偽的雙重標準。
    simon li, you have the guts to make comment on it?
    i don’t think so. you just a so so.

  4. The question one should ask, is not why is Prime Minister Harper picking on China’s human rights situation, but what does he intend to gain from such actions. Especially when we have representatives visiting China in hopes for trade.

    Is that a simple mistake? Or was it intentional?
    would that be a pre-election attempt to alter the balance of power in which the province’s premier is in good relations with the Chinese government?

  5. 瘋人 has raised some good questions. No politicians are completely “just" and nobody expects them to be. It’s a balance of one’s interests.

    It’s just plain silly to compare the Canada’s foreign policies on China versus those of the U.S. It’s like questioning George Bush why he invaded Iraq on the assumption of Saddam’s possession of “Weapon of Mass Destrution", but at the same time he did not send his troops to North Korea after their nuclear testing?

    Well, the answers are very simple. The interest of the U.S are greater in the Middle-east (Oil!?) than the famine-plagued North Korea. What can one benefit by invading N.K?

    You commit a big fallacy, “學嘢啦社會公義". You assume politicians are righteous and just. They in fact could be quite the opposite. You can’t just simply measure every foreign policy by the same ruler. You have to look beyond the slogans/claims/propaganda underneath the events. “學嘢啦社會公義", don’t look at things at the surface.

    Why is Harper playing hard ball with a so-called “Awakening giant"? Who knows? Maybe he’s been pissed by all the privacy and copyright infringements and 1000 spies in Canada. Perhaps, he knows that Canada produces oil that China wants. China can not stand up Japan and other Asia countries on many issues but rather oppress her own people. What does it show to the rest of the worlds?

  6. cytodex, take your time goes on your theoritical argumentations. it helps you go on living.

  7. Cytodex 說得一點沒錯。 正巧合地, 前幾個星期小弟與一女孩交談時, 被問及差不多同樣的一個政治雙重標準問題時, 她說, “I thought Canada and the U.S. had human rights!" 我便這樣說, “Human rights (人權) 只是美加等國用來攻擊中國的其中一張牌而矣。攻擊背後的真正原因乃因時而異." 因就算哈珀更天真, 亦絕無可能將億萬元合約作賭注, 來批抨中國一些對加國絕無關係之『人權』問題。 看看 Guantánamo Bay 入面發生的事, 就知『人權』究竟倒頭來是怎麼一回事了。 政治把戲, 真真假假有時真要立體 (multi-dimensional) 來分析才可洞悉其中要領。

  8. When one stays in the West (not within the Chinatown of his/her making) for sometimes and starts to pay attention to the news and events in the surroundings and the world, you can’t help noticing the emergence of “double-standards" on a lot of issues. Don’t be fooled by all governments and politicans (In that regard, there is no difference between Chinese or Non-Chinese). Their virtue is to disguise double-standards so only the ignorant could be sold. This is not about a theoretical debate but rather a reality. Playing hardball is always a tactic by politicians in disputes/negotiations/bargains in order to harness the best interests. After all, it’s pretty much about rhetorics (or plain talks). When Harper picked on China but appeared lame over issues with the U.S., I am sure that your feelings as well as those of “many Chinese in the people’s Republic of China" are hurt.

    Like 獨孤求丙 has said, you have to look at every issue from different angles. Think as an outsider without any predisposition or patriotic afflication on why Harper picked China. Just as he made the official apologies to the Chinese community; is he genuine or just a political move to buy the chinese votes?

  9. By the way, congratulations to Simon’s article on the Toronto Star. It’s interesting to know that the head-tax redress has become a boost to the victims of Nanjing. However, I am quite pessimistic about any compensation or formal apologies from the Japanese government. Every year, the elected government officials and sometimes the PM pay their respect to the Yasukuni Shrine (靖國神社)where the WWII war criminals are commemorated. I rarely see Japanese government refrain herself from doing that.

    Chinese has endured a lot of hardship over 100 years in China and overseas. One has to ask the question why Chinese have been destined to so many unfortunate events. From late Qing dynasty to Cultural Revolution to June 4 massacre, there have been lots of political uprisings and bloodshed. Those who went overseas in search of a better life had also confronted with different forms of discrimination and prejudice. It had not been easy to be a chinese back in a few decades ago especially when they were socially stigmatized and alienated. Their lives were merely suited for undesirable jobs and hard labor. Nowaday, multiculturalism is recognized in our Constitution. We should not take it for granted. For those who have fought for social injustice in form of headtax, we should give them all our support.

  10. I’ve been listening to your program for more than a year. I am proud of you and impressed with your effort to brdige the Chinese and the main stream media.

    Yet at the same time, I find you are tending to commercialize yourself, sometime at the expense of co-hosts of your program.

    F.K. Luk

  11. Hiya! Quick question that’s totally off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My website looks weird
    when browsing from my apple iphone. I’m trying to find
    a theme or plugin that might be able to resolve this issue.

    If you have any recommendations, please share. With thanks!



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