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Canadian Press

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

A panel of judges at a hearing yesterday asked why governments would choose to compensate one ethnic group for decades-old discrimination but not another.

The judges were hearing the appeal of Chinese immigrants seeking redress for a century-old head tax they were charged to enter Canada that the government has since admitted was racist.

Justice James MacPherson asked why the government chose to compensate and apologize to Japanese Canadians who were interned during World War II, and not targets of the Chinese head tax.


"Here, at least in my mind, there is an over-arching similarity," MacPherson said.

Paul Vickery, who was representing the government, said the fact it made a deal with the Japanese is irrelevant to the case brought before the courts by the Chinese. "They are completely separate and distinct.

Last year, about 400 survivors and 4,000 of their descendants failed in their class-action bid for $1.2 billion in compensation and a formal apology from the government.


Copyright 2002 The Canadian Press

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