Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the abolition of the Chinese Exclusion Act.
It was on May 1, 1947 that this act was repealed. It represents a milestone in the history of Canadians of Chinese descent. It meant that after decades of hardship Chinese Canadians were finally recognized as equal Canadian citizens.
We all know the tremendous role the Chinese Canadian community has played in building our nation. The first Chinese immigrants arrived in 1858. Their achievements have included building the national railway, serving in two world wars and many major contributions to business and the arts.
Today we say thank you to those early Chinese Canadian pioneers who helped to build the nation even under the hardship of the Chinese head tax and the Chinese Exclusion Act.
The only Canada that is acceptable today is the Canada in which all people are treated equally, no matter what their race or religion.
Let us all pay tribute to Chinese Canadians and thank them for their contributions in making this a great country.