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BC Liberal-NDP Chinese head-tax apology falls apart

Plans for a joint Liberal-New Democrat apology in British Columbia's legislature over the Chinese head tax fell apart last week amid the provincial government's ethnic-wins scandal.

Burnaby North Liberal Richard Lee and Vancouver-Mt. Pleasant New Democrat Jenny Kwan say both parties were reviewing a draft apology that was planned for presentation in the legislature last Thursday, but time ran out.

Lee says the Liberals gave the NDP the final draft of the apology last Monday, but acknowledges timing was an issue because the legislature was about to close down last Thursday.

Kwan says the NDP supports a B.C. apology for the head tax, which forced Chinese immigrants to pay a tax to come to Canada over 100 years ago.

Both Lee and Kwan say the issue of a B.C. head tax apology now rests with a future government since the legislature is officially in recess until after the May 14 election.

Three former Liberal insiders and former multiculturalism minister John Yap have either resigned or left government over a leaked Liberal government document suggesting formal apologies to ethnic communities for historic wrongs could result in quick wins at the ballot box.

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