Previously published in Examiner,
Part 10 of the Japanese Internment series, I am sorry but examiner does not have part 9 anymore.
Canadian internment camps continued
Fishing rights denied Japanese Canadians
Fishing is a natural resource for Canada and the then government took away all the Canadian Japanese fishing boats in order to protect Canada from the a possible wartime threat.
All this took place within a nine month period. There were already 8 internment camps in British Columbia by October 1942. Japanese Canadians were blamed for a crime they never committed.
By 1943, they lost all the rights, and their property. The Canadian government “Custodian of Aliens” department sold off all their worldly goods.
Worst still, was that Japanese people had lost their dignity. They were badly treated and humiliated. They were torn away from their wives and children and forced to do manual labour behind barbwire fences, all because they were not white, and they originally came from Japan. No one cared that they made their home in Canada. They were considered to be Japanese Nationalists and they were considered a threat to Canada. The Canadian government’s defense for robbing these people of their rights and their worldly possessions was that they could be spies.
Sugar beet farmers incarceration
However, the war was hard on the Canadian economy. Canadian soldiers were off to war and that caused a shortage of sugar beet farmers, running simultaneously with the American sugar beet farmer crisis. This turn of events caused the Security Commission Council to give the Japanese men a choice of either working as a slave in the road camps or work as a sugar beet farmer where they could have their families with them. Needless to say most Japanese married men choose the latter.
Families living in Interment Camps
Some of the camps didn’t even have houses; the Japanese families were set up in tents, following the example set forth by the American government south of the border. This life was very hard on the people, the families were packed like sardines in some corners. with as much as ten Japanese women and their families sharing the same stove.
To be continued
Japanese Canadians were interned during that second world war days, also German and Italian Canadian political activists. Adrien Arcand was a Montreal Journalist and fascist who campaigned from 1929 until his death in 1967 who was also interned. He appointed himself the Canadian führer.