The Harper government scored major points in the Chinese community when it announced redress payments of $20,000 for families affected by Chinese head tax.
One major pay-off for the Tories was a win in the Vancouver area of Richmond, with a large Chinese population.
The head tax was charged on new Chinese immigrants between 1885 and 1923 in Canada and between 1910 and 1949 in Newfoundland, before it joined the confederation.
An estimated 82,000 head tax certificates were issued. But according to data tabled in the House of Commons recently, survivors of barely 1 per cent of those who paid made claims for redress. Total cost to the feds was just over $15 million.
Applications856 Eligible785 Ineligible71 Submitted after Mar. 31, 200817 Total pay-outs$15,700,000