Tories Boot Out Vancouver Writer Who Questions Apology for Chinese Head Tax
We’d hoped that Stephen Harper’s Conservatives would get it. Canadians are fed up with the thuggish, high handed politics of the Liberals. They are fed up with Joe Volpe’s attitude that, if you criticize him, you’re either a racist or should have your website shut down – as happened to a satirical site recently poking fun at children contributing to his leadership campaign. Yes, it had been our hope that Harper would usher in a new politics of debate which cherished rather than crushed dissent. Early indications are not promising. Jud Ireland is a longtime Vancouver writer and political activist. He was an advisor to former B.C. Premier Bill Vander Zalm. He also authored a hard hitting book entitled Stop Apologizing in the early 1990s. He recently presented a thoroughly researched study on the question of the Chinese Head Tax. [I’m sending it out as a separate CFIRCGRAM.] He presented it to Prime Minister Harper and to Harper’s Parliamentary Secretary Jason Kenny. For the crime of thinking for himself and dissenting from the Tories’ opportunistic decision to make a groveling apology for the head tax and a hefty settlement offer, Jud Ireland has been thrown out of the Conservative Party.

Here are more details about his story.



Jud Ireland
#26 – 3683 E. Hastings St.,
Vancouver, B.C.
V5K 4Z7
604-299-6000 off
604-253-4190 hm
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July 13, 2006
The Honorable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
K1A 0A2

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Dear Prime Minister Harper,
Re: Conservative Party integrity

Prime Minister Harper, as an active member in a local Conservative Party constituency executive, as well as an active volunteer and financially contributor to your January 2006 election victory, I write to you today with both a sense of entitlement as well as a feeling of sadness.

I spend a great deal of time reading politically related matter and have the good fortune of being very familiar with individuals who’s understanding of politics and economics are much broader than many. When the topic of Chinese Head Tax arose I made a number of different attempts to contact Conservative Party members to discover who was in charge of this issue, but all to no avail.

In the mid 90’s I had researched the topic of Chinese Head Tax and had numerous pieces of information that can and will completely defy most of the sinful acts that historical Canadians have and are being accused of. Soon after being elected in January, you and the Conservative Party announce that you are going to make a settlement for the injustices of those Asians alive today that had suffered under the Chinese Head Tax. To quote your June 22, 2006 address:

Stephen Harper June 22, 2006 quote:

“For over six decades, these malicious measures, aimed solely at the Chinese, were implemented with deliberation by the Canadian state. This was a grave injustice, and one we are morally obligated to acknowledge.”

Mr. Prime Minister, Canadians owe no obligation to the Chinese relative to the Head Tax Act of 1885 and the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1923, which I am aptly capable of providing you with substantive documentation relative to the arguments of the day enacting such legislation. Unfortunately, to my dismay, the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada has proven that anyone who contest public statements made by you is officially deemed not worthy of being a Conservative Party member. This letter will aptly justify that statement.    

In late April 2006 I sent you a 14 page letter on the topic of the Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act. Two weeks later I received a polite letter from your office acknowledging the receipt of the said letter. Naively on my part, I was hoping for more of a response from you.

On May 26, 2006, I went fully armed with copies of the said letter to the $40 Filipino reception in Richmond, B.C., that you were to attend. You said “Hello & Goodbye” in a matter of 5 minutes and then quickly left for some $200 per plate dinner. That evening correctly defines a whole pattern within today’s Conservative Party. It seems all about money. That statement, Mr. Prime Minister, is easily substantiated and I welcome that opportunity to explain.

Jason Kenney Meeting

The Filipino meeting in Richmond, B.C. ended and I stayed to meet some of the MP’s that attended. I soon found myself face-to-face with M.P. Jason Kenney and to my surprise, quickly discovered that he was the “push” behind the Chinese Head Tax issue within the Conservative Cabinet, or so he boldly claimed. Mr. Kenney was more than intimidated by someone at this Conservative Party function challenging him on a policy issue. Mr. Kenney emphatically stated that the decision on the Chinese Head Tax had already been made and there is nothing anyone could do to change the party’s position.

I then asked Mr. Kenney “but what if the entire premise the Party has taken is totally incorrect?” I quickly explained the economic prospects of those 81,000 Chinese immigrants between 1885 and 1923 immigrating to Canada under a head tax. Further, I explained how most of these Chinese immigrants came from the poorest economic regions of all China: (note: Sze-yap region).

I then asked Mr. Kenney “How could over 40,000 individuals come to Canada from China after 1904 and each paying a $500 Head Tax? I stated that the bulk of these individuals came from an area of China where the annual income was approximately $35 per year, at the time of their departure. Therefore who was really paying this “head tax” and why? Further, what financial obligations were these new Canadians from China under once they arrived in Canada, and for how long? It was obvious that Mr. Kenney seemed upset and most bothered by these words.  

Indentured Enslavement

The form of indentured enslavement by labor contractors of these Chinese immigrants was what the government of B.C. before 1871, wanted to stop and made a formal request to Ottawa for such. This request was made formal with B.C. entering confederation in 1871. In 1882, British Columbia’s Premier Amor de Cosmos was the biggest proponent of a 100% restriction of all Asian immigration. 1882 was the same year the United States enforced a 100% restriction on all Asian immigration right through to 1943. National archives will authenticate these facts. British Columbia made countless requests for Ottawa to restrict all Asian immigration for reasons your government has chosen to disregard (e.g. organized enslavement, obsessive gambling, addictive opium consumption). I told Mr. Kenney that in 1871 Premier de Cosmos, as well as successive premiers all proposed a $50 Poll Tax or landing tax on all Asians.    

Prime Minister Harper, I was shocked at what Jason Kenney didn’t seem to know on the topic of Chinese Head Tax. I presented him with two envelopes, one was addressed to you and asked that he forward my Chinese Head Tax article to you and the other was for himself. Mr. Kenney assured me that you would receive a copy and that he would read his copy of the letter on his trip back to Ottawa the following day.

Resignation Letter

I heard nothing until June 14, 2006 when a paid employee for the Conservative Party, Mr. John Buckham, called my office and wanted to organize a meeting. We agreed to meet the next day at 10:00 AM. Mr. Buckham promptly showed up along with a friend. The friend would not introduce himself and I did not make an issue of it. I offered coffee, but Mr. Buckham declined and stated that they wanted to get right down to business. Mr. Buckham handed me a letter and stated that “the boys in Ottawa have asked that Jud Ireland resign as a Conservative Party member and would Jud Ireland sign this official party resignation letter?”

After some questioning on my part on the cause of this action, it was obvious that John Buckham knew very little about anything. When I stated that I was not going to sign the letter of resignation but wanted to keep the resignation letter as a memento, I thought he and his friend were going to beat me up. They were certainly going to take it from me, whether I liked it or not.

I finally surrendered the letter and the two of them quickly left. I will not bore you with the details of the entire story, but there is much more to tell just on that incident.

Alberta’s Draconian Antics

Prime Minister Harper, these are certainly the actions of a Preston Manning, Reform Party and not what I believed to be the new Conservative Party. I do not need to explain to you how someone can correctly conclude that Alberta politics leaves little room for opposition, either within the party or across the floor. I’m sure your understanding of the draconian antics of Premier’s Aberhart, Manning or Laugheed will allow you to appreciate that statement.

It seems that someone within your Ottawa office condones the “kill the opposition” mentality of noted Alberta premiers. Just while writing this letter to you I received another call from the Conservative Party fundraising office in New Brunswick hoping that I will renew my financial pledge to the party. Prime Minister Harper, seeking money seems to be the only time I or others I have spoken to, ever seem to hear from the main party office. Isn’t that another really cleaver “Alberta” strategy? As though – who else do they (note: the membership) have but us?

Philosophical Perspective

Prime Minister Harper, I have numerous topics that I have studied thoroughly and can provide an insightful perspective on. I believe my insights can and will change most people’s attitudes towards (e.g. Social Imperatives to Cultural Assimilation, Language Laws, Rethinking Metric Conversion, Accountability in Education, Cultural Imperatives to Third World Immigration, First Nations Entitlement, etc.). Immigration, Multi-Culturalism and Native Land Claims have been my greatest focus.

Do you think having that kind of insight is why the likes of Jason Kenney and the “party insiders” like John Reynolds don’t want me in the Conservative Party? Why don’t we take my membership before a board and let’s vote on it? That is how such an issue would work in the real world and not like this old Alberta “despotic” form of politics, and I’m sure you will agree. It is too easy for me to simply step back and leave the party, and allow the John Buckham’s to enact the wishes of a handful of people that have little accountability. Let me go before a membership board and state my case. Again, that kind of democratic process might be new to some members.    


Politics vs. Principle  

Please Mr. Prime Minister, believe me when I say that some political “insiders” don’t know the difference between politics and principle. In the weekend dinners that I attend, the discussions often evolve around yourself and your Ottawa office. Many see Stephen Harper practicing far more politics than principle today. Something none of them believe would have happen when you got elected last January. Everyone seemed to remember when Lawrence Martin of the Globe & Mail called you a “Conservative Trudeau”. Everyone believes that is not who you were elected to be. I can explain that further if you wish.

The Chinese Head Tax was simply a political move on your part. I know that Mr. Prime Minister, but at some time you must make a “statement of principle”, that will help Canadians generate a better sense of themselves. The “political experts” around you don’t seem to understand that. After over 12 years of Liberalization (note: 1993 – Jan. 2006), Canada’s social identity can’t help but need some principle added to it.    

Your July 1st speeches proved much of what you believe and it lacked the political romance that a July 1st speech was supposed to deliver. The Canada Day celebrations within the lower mainland of B.C. were weaker than I have ever seen them. And WHY? Let me explain it to you one of these days. As we become a nation of “little people”, the qualities of self pride and nationalism are quickly lost and for that I am truly sorry.

Let’s make a point to meet and determine if I am just hot air or do I really know my stuff. I welcome that opportunity. Mr. Prime Minister, believe me when I say that Canadians want some political romance right now. It is not bigger welfare programs or more rights for homosexuals that will give you the 155 seats needed for an election majority in the next election, but someone that thinks like a coach of a football or soccer team in the championship game. We need political leadership that can unify the soul and unite the spirit, not of the country but of the entire nation. It was obvious in your July 1st speech the need for some political romance. A speech full of the Churchill or Franklin Roosevelt “one-liners”, that made everyone anxious to listen the next time.


Harper’s Crusade of Principle

Let’s put “Principle before Politics” and ask Canadians for a chance to lead Canada away from a philosophy that will inevitability bury the collective good that so many have sacrificed so much to create. Make Stephen Harper more than just a party leader, but a crusader for a political philosophy that will enhance the lives of those willing to become part of it. Make it a choice. Make it a philosophy of fairness, of social respect, but most of all, of social recognition. A country with a philosophy that recognizes those among us that respect the law, are good neighbors, courteous drivers, are honorable workers and employers and are constant contributors to the social good within Canada, the nation. Ask yourself why does the average American donate over twice the amount of money annually to charities than does the average Canadian? Again, allow me the opportunity to explain that economic fact. The answer is written all over us and no one dare address it.   

Mr. Prime Minister, the average 9 to 5 Canadian does not see Canada as a fair society. They see too many people benefiting from the honor of Canada’s “collective good”. Is there a political leader that can appreciate what that collective good is and then daringly point out what we have to do to protect and then strengthen it? Most political leaders only want to spend the social equity of their country and cowardly avoid the issues that generate positive social equity.

Stephen Harper was seen by many voters last January as someone above the rest when it came to social mores. The “Stand Up for Canada” was a good motto, but show me anything that stands out that would make anyone believe that today? Put the “principle” back into your campaign. You must make Canadians believe that you are bigger than the politics and the people around you. It is just a matter of perspective. Remember, I’m someone your “boys in Ottawa” don’t want in the party and I assume that is because I question party despots and dogmas. It is when questioning dogma that all advances have evolved within any society. I welcome the opportunity to explain that as well. I trust you are ready to evolve. Again, consider contacting me one day for further discussion on a let’s “Stand Up for Principle” campaign.


Revoking Membership

Today is now Thursday, July 13, 2006. I just picked up my mail and received a letter from the Conservative Party head office, Executive Director, Michael Donison. Enclosed was a refund for my membership fees along with a personally signed statement from Mr. Donison.

The letter stated: “It has come to our attention that you do not fulfill the requirements   for membership, namely Article 4.1.2 of the Constitution under which membership is only open to a citizen or permanent resident who ‘actively supports the principles of the Party.’Therefore, your application for membership cannot be accepted, and we are returning the membership fee to you herewith.”

Mr. Prime Minister, it is easy to tear that statement apart and make Mr. Donison look like a fool. I could say before a judge or membership committee that when I joined the party I actively supported the principles of the party. But the Conservatives Party leadership then changed the principles, so does that then invalidate my membership? It appears within the Conservative Party that it does. Mr. Prime Minister, imagine what kind of a news event someone with a mean vengeance and a great imagination could turn those few words into?   

Mr. Donison’s letter refers to the Party’s Constitution which states that someone in good membership standing must “actively supports the principles of the Party”. What if someone only passively supported the principles of the Party or was completely ambivalent towards them but just liked you as the party leader? Are they still eligible for Party membership or will they be getting a Michael Donison letter soon? Or just like what I asked Jason Kenney, “What if the information that the legislation was based upon is proven inaccurate”, does that make someone’s membership ineligible? Mr. Prime Minister does that sound like a democratic party to you. I can prove much of the information the Head Tax legislation was based on to be incorrect.      

Michael Donison’s letter is indicative of what I stated earlier of the Alberta styled, political party, where the executive office has a form of autocratic control that the Party membership have no understanding or appreciation of. The actions of both Michael Donison and John Buckham have only proven the “executive styled management” that operates our Party. Unfortunately, their actions only demean the principles that I, and many others, believed you represented when I was going door-to-door in support of your January campaign.


The boys in Ottawa that John Buckham gets his orders from, I believe see you winning the next election by a majority. The Liberal leadership race lacks the kind of candidate that says the party is going to spend any serious money on an election, which I believe will be about a year from now. But if you carefully examine the 1957 and 1958 National elections, there is much more to consider relative to your “executive” styled campaign and your minority to majority victory in 2007. Allow me to describe the believability campaign that must be incorporated.             

FINAL QUESTION:            

Do you believe that Conservative Party of Canada members should be thrown out of the party if they disagree with an issue that was ratified only by the elected members, but never by the party membership, just as happened in this instance? I’ll hear from you. Thank you.


Yours truly,

Jud Ireland  
604-299-6000 off
604-253-4190 hm
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c.c. various party executives & M.P.’s