Let's not compensate the Chinese for the exclusion act...
I've been somewhat taken aback by Stephen Harper's decision to apologize to the Chinese community for the head tax and the exclusion act...and to pay monies to the people who have paid the head tax.
In my view there were two separate crimes committed: First, the head tax, and second, the exclusion act which prohibited chinese from emigrating to Canada. The second is a far more serious crime than the first - at least Chinese could still get into Canada while paying the head tax.
Consider the case of Jews who were excluded from Canada during the holocaust. From the late 1930 to the end of the war, Canada took in less than 5,000 Jews. Think of how many Jews could have been saved had the Government allowed them in. Should there be compensation for that? How on earth could you ever compensate for the 100,000+ Jews who could have been saved? You can't.
Every group who's been wronged can now stand in line for compensation? How about gays who have been excluded from Canada for years? Gay spouses who have been denied entry for years? Labour groups, Ukranians, etc....there is no shortage of groups who can have some sort of claim.
Of course, I should say that I do deserve some compensation. I have suffered greatly by my lack of suffering. I have had no family members murdered during the holocaust, and I haven't suffered from anti-semitism. Isn't that the ultimate insult to somebody who is jewish? And, being gay, I am sure that I should get some sort of payment - particularly since gay sex wasn't taught in sex ed when I was in school. I was deprived, no? I figure a cheque of $25,000 should cover my suffering.
One last note: Instead of token compensation for the chinese, I believe the government should build an immigration museum which could cover the head tax, the exclusion act, the ban on allowing Jews into the country during the second world war, etc....