Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago, I received an invitation to celebrate the 107th birthday of Mr. Ralph Lung Kee Lee, the oldest remaining member of the Chinese Canadian community to have paid the infamous $500 Chinese head tax.
Mr. Lee came to Canada at the age of 12. After paying off the head tax fee, Mr. Lee joined thousands of Chinese labourers who were working to construct the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Last Saturday, I had the honour, on behalf of the Government of Canada, to personally apologize to Mr. Lee and his family and deliver to him a redress cheque, a redress that Mr. Lee had waited 95 years to receive.
I feel it is my responsibility to inform the House that this past Thursday Mr. Lee died in his Pickering home. Canada has lost a living link to its past dreams, a man who chose our nation and, despite adversity, lived his life with dignity, love and honour for his family and his country.
Canada thanks Mr. Lee.
[Member spoke in Chinese as follows:]
Xie Xie Ni, Lee Xian sheng.