Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the life of Charlie Sang Now Quan who was one of Canada's last surviving head-tax payers. Charlie Quan passed away peacefully on February 23 at the age of 105.
At 16 years of age, Charlie was forced to pay a $500 head tax to enter Canada simply because he was Chinese. Throughout his life, he dedicated himself to speaking out against the racist policy that was later expanded under the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1923 which banned all Chinese immigration into Canada.
For years, Charlie sought recognition from the Government of Canada for the humiliation caused by the head tax. Finally in 2006, Charlie witnessed the Prime Minister issue a historic official apology to all head-tax payers in the House of Commons. Charlie and other head-tax payers finally had their dignity restored.
Despite all the difficulties he faced in his life as an immigrant, Charlie was a proud Canadian. On behalf of all Canadians, I thank him for his contribution to the building of our pluralistic society.