Previously published in Examiner
conclusion of the Japanese Internment Camp Series
Internment camps and Montreal
Many Canadian’s who marched to the tune of a different drummer were also sent to interment camps. Because they were isolated in different areas across the country, the government argued they were not imprisoned and therefore could get away with this kind of treatment. Not only were fascists, and communists interned, so were prominent labour union leaders such as J. A. (Pat) Sullivan, the president of the Canadian Seamen’s Union.
Mayor Camillien Houde of Montreal spend four years in an internment camp because he denounced the national registration in 1940, which he believed would lead to conscription and forced military duty, an issue he was philosophically against.
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. He was also interned. He appointed himself the Canadian führer, disgusting as it may be.
There were approximately 26 camps in Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick and Quebec combined.
Italian Canadian Montrealer, Mario Duliani wrote, The City Without Women about his life in the internment camp Petawawa during World War II. Duliani founded the French-language wing of the Montreal Repertory Theatre.
The time was one of suspicion and hysteria. Many people were victimized for crimes they had never committed and Canadian families were torn apart. Japanese women suffered the most when their whole life was robbed from them at the hands of the Canadian government. They lost their husbands, their fathers, their brothers and their male children. They lost all their property and anything that made up a healthy and happy family life. They did their best to preserve the family both physically and mentally and they had to remain strong for all those who relied upon them. The Canadian and American Japanese women’s experience was a tragedy that need not have happened.
We are suppose to learn from history, but we rarely do. Every time a new crisis happens in our great country or in America as well, all the people of the group in question are victimized, brutalized, demonized; and the innocent are left to pay for the sins of the guilty.