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Head Tax

Head Tax: Legislated as part of the Chinese Immigration Act, 1885. The Act stipulated that any person of Chinese origin who wanted to enter Canada was required to pay the Federal Government a $500/person fee that was called the "head tax". The tax was so expensive that, in many cases, only one family member could afford the trip to Canada, having to leave their wives and children behind. From 1885-1923 the Federal Government collected an estimated $123-million from this tax. The Chinese Immigration Act, 1923 halted Chinese immigration altogether until 1947.

For more information, see Asian Canadian's special section on Headtax Redress.