Canada Chinese Head Tax

Low Quon Sun

Our father came to Canada January 17, 1919. At that time the Canadian government required a head tax of $500. It was a small fortune in those days but our father wanted to go to "Gum San"-the land of golden opportunities. He was very lonely in Canada and went back to China in 1920. However, he still believed that Canada was a land of opportunities, so he came back. Between 1920 and 1950, he went back to China four times. On one of his trips, he married our mother and had two daughters (my sister and I). After his last trip back to China in 1950, he came back to Canada and worked hard to save his money. By November 23, 1957, he saved enough money to bring us over to Vancouver, BC (my mom, my seven year old sister and I , age nine).

Our family lived and farmed in the Musqueam Reservation called Hong Kong Farm. Our father passed away May, 10, 1960 less than three years after we re-united. On June 22, 2006, the Government of Canada offered a full apology to the Chinese Canadians for the Head Tax.

Submitted by Wendy Low