November Randomness

A few thoughts on a nice fall morning:


At this moment, my son is getting needles. *sigh* poor little guy. Honest, it's for your own good. Reallyreally.


I had a great walk to work this morning (and stayed dry, I might note.) Here are some lovely images showing how our city will soon be blanketed in colourful maple leaves. How disgustingly Canadian.

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I listened to part of a radio radio interview / discussion on my walk to work this morning, explaining how 150 years ago Canada invited "the Chinese" to come and help build our national railroad. That sounds nice, doesn't it? Well, after the railroad was built, and "the Chinese" kept immigrating in larger and larger numbers, it was decided that a head-tax be imposed. It was $50 per immigrant, meant ostensibly to limit or discourage immigration. It did not.

It should be noted that this head-tax was not levied on any other nationality. Only "the Chinese". And it increased in value twice, to $100 and then to $500 (once it was obvious that $100 wasn't stemming the tide). Apparently $500 was about equivalent to two years' wages for the average Chinese immigrant.

While the head tax was in effect, Canada collected $23 million. Now, feeling guilty but not apologising, the options are: to redistribute the funds to descendents of head-tax families, or to provide an endowment to certain head-tax Chinese immigrant groups to do with what they may. I understand there is anything but general concensus out there.

Sometimes I'm embarrassed by what our forefathers/foremothers did (really, just our forefathers...the foremothers weren't allowed to do anything, right?). This happens time and again: Some group of people out there brings it to the public that our country has horribly wronged them in the past. Often it's mired in beliefs of national unity and / or security. Japanese internment, Chinese head-tax, and the list goes on. I can only hope that we're not still committing these types of atrocities, to only one day be exposed and re-embarrassed, questioning our own belief in the Canadian cultural evolution.

Is my hope misguided?

Read more of this story on the Current website


Posted bythemikestand at 10:00 AM  

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