ms. fitton - Socials 11 Japanese internment
February 1942: Mackenzie King under the war measures act, declares all citizens of Japenese descent living within roughly 70km of the British Columbian coast, to be relocated away from Canadian waters. The RCMP could search and detain without any legal consent or obligation, regardless of your Canadian citizenship. • "It is the government’s plan to get these people out of B.C. as fast as possible. It is my personal intention, as long as I remain in public life, to see they never come back here. Let our slogan be for British Columbia: ‘No Japs from the Rockies to the seas.'" - Ian Mckenzie, MP(65)
The removal • the Canadian authorities started the removal process immiedately. Over the next few months, about 20,000 were relocated into internment camps.(in interior BC) and labor camps.(in the Prairies and Ontario) • The federal government con usages all Japanese property and belongings, eventually selling it all off as auction items. • The evacuation was pronounced a "security precaution" after the Pearl Harbour attacking at military bases in Haiwaii. Despite Canada's previous discriminative disposition the Japenese, the events of Japenese internment we're considered to be justifiable at the time. • there is no evidence that a Japenese attack was ever in place or intended, but the strength of public prejudice was so strong, that it made the government feel it had to give in.
Even after war, the discrimination towards a Japanese people never ceased. Several years after, they still couldn't return to the coast and some were even deported back to Japan. Public perception was generally supportive of the Canadian governments decisions, despite being one of the worst violations of humans rights in history.
On 22 Sept 1988, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney rose in the House of Commons to acknowledge the wartime wrongs and to announce compensation of:
- $21,000 for each individual Japanese Canadian who had been either expelled from the coast in 1942 or was alive in Canada before 1 April 1949. • - a community fund of $12 million to repair the broken communities; (infrastructure and societal) • - pardons for those disobeying orders under the War Measures Act. • funding of $24 million for civil rights projects, programs and conferences.
the Bird Commission awarded $1.3 million in claims to 1,434 Japanese Canadians; however, it accepted only claims based on loss of property, neglecting the many of other human violations, along with actual expenses. Years later, Canada is scarred with it's past of discrimination and cruelty, as society has for the most part since, has found peace. Japenese internment is an important time in Canadian history, as it shows the relationship our government over time has built with it's own people through trials and tribulations. Perhaps the repartition sums will never ease the pain, but one thing that is for sure is the times have changed. Canada did burn down a whitehouse AND kidnap nation of it's own, to either labor them, or deport them or sell their things, but it's not that Canada now. One thing is for certain as once said no better...
"Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history.” • - Abraham Lincoln