Previously published in Examiner
Part 14 of the Japanese Internment Series
Repatriatism Law questioned but not repelled
When we left off we were discussing how Japanese Canadians were being sent to Japan, a foreign country most of them never even knew. Japanese Canadians were born on Canadian soil and had no dealings with Japan. Japanese women had to start up a new life in a strange land and pull their families together.
The government was not in complete agreement over this issue. In 1945, the deportation orders were contested on the grounds that the Security commission had been dissolved. However, the security commission’s prior decision to deport Japanese Canadians was upheld. Even in light of the verdict that there was no security threat from Japanese Canadians.
Meanwhile the Japanese women who were left behind paid for their spouses stay in internment camps from their meager wages as chicken farmers. Remember as previously discussed all property and personal belongings were taken from them. Very little in the line of work was offered to them. They were forced to work the lands, but could never own them, or they found menial jobs where ever they could find them.
Japanese women paid for the internment of their husband’s on the meager incomes they made to support their families.
The Japanese community in Canada
The third Generation Japanese (sensei) were brought up English and did not know their own language nor heritage; their parents too shamed and too oppressed to pass onto the them a sense of heritage and Japanese culture. Robbed of their dignity and culture they remained Canadians with out a sense of identity.
Compensation for the Japanese human rights violations – Redress Agreement
Prime Minister Brian Mulroney signed the $21,000 compensation package for each internee’s surviving family on September 22, 1988. The total amount disbursed was 12 million dollars, a small token for all the pain and anguish caused.
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.