Introduction”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”, as proclaimed by Ian MacKenzie, a cabinet minister from British Columbia (“Japanese Internment”). These remarks show us the racist history of Canada; the majority of its citizens and even the government wanted to “keep Canada white” (Cheung). The minority groups who settled in Canada beforehand were also victims of Canada’s discrimination (Cheung). The devastating attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941 gave “powerful politicians, businesses and labour groups” the perfect opportunity to “attack the social and economic base of the thriving Japanese-Canadian community”(Miki and Kobayashi 17).
As a result, all settlers with Japanese ancestry were categorized as “enemy aliens”. Unfortunately, the Japanese-Canadians were punished for the actions of Japan, and Canada’s justifies it by stating that, “Japanese people were not white and they “could” be Japanese spies” (“Japanese Internment Camps”). Some organizations believed that “Japan was trying to smuggle an army into Canada” (Hydes 23). Many innocent Japanese-Canadians were forced to leave school, publicly humiliated and isolated from society. This was completely unjust to the Japanese-Canadians because they have suffered due to the actions of the Japanese government (“History of Japanese Canadians”). Finally, on September 1988, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney apologizes on behalf of the Parliament (Montgomery).
As asserted by Brian Mulroney:I know that I speak for Members on all sides of the House today in offering to Japanese Canadians the formal and sincere apology of this Parliament for those past injustices against them, against their families, and against their heritage, and our solemn commitment and undertaking to Canadians of every origin that such violations will never again in this country be countenanced or repeated. (Montgomery)The efforts of the Canadian government to make amends for their mistakes in World War Two was necessary; yet it does not make up for the prejudice against Japanese-Canadians, the loss of their belongings and years of internment.