Facts & Figures

Posted: May 11, 2011 in Facts & Figures
  • Prior to World War II, 22,096 Japanese Canadians lived in British Columbia; three quarters of them were naturalized or native born Canadians. During the war, 21,460 were forcibly removed from their homes; families were broken up and sent to internment camps. After the war, 3,964 were deported to Japan; one third of them were Canadian citizens.
  • In 1950, the Bird Commission’s report resulted in an offer of $ 1.2 million compensation to Japanese Canadians. A 1987 Price Waterhouse study estimated real property loss at $ 50 million, total economic loss at $ 443 million.
  • The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadian military advisers did not consider the Japanese Canadian community on the West Coast as a threat to domestic security.
  • The Japanese in Canada were treated harsher than the Japanese in the United States.
  • In the U.S., families were interned together. In Canada, initially, families were separated.
  • In the U.S., constitutional protections forbade the sale of property. In Canada, the government seized and sold land and personal property. In the U.S., housing and food were provided. In Canada, internees paid for food, clothes and basic improvements in housing from savings and proceeds of property sales.
  • In the U.S., the government moved quickly in 1944-45 to rescind exclusion orders and to allow the return of citizens to the West Coast. In Canada, Japanese Canadians were forced to decide on deportation to Japan or relocation to parts east of the Rockies.
  • The 10 internment camps, 3 road camps, 2 prisoner of war camps, and 5 self-supporting camps were scattered throughout Canada. During the war years, Japanese Canadians were regarded as possible threats to Canada’s domestic security. Their actions were monitored; their rights suspended. Yet no hearings or trials were ever held and no charges of treason were ever laid
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