"We cannot do it perfectly, but by God we have tried." So said Brian Mulroney recently, defending his Tory government's half-hearted efforts to provide redress to people interned in Canada during both world wars.
Japanese Canadians might have some doubts about that. They received individual monetary compensation but are still waiting for a race relations foundation he promised back in 1989.
And what about all the other unfinished business?
Between 1885 and 1903, more than 81,000 Chinese immigrants paid $23 million to the government.
The community has good reason to demand an apology and financial redress for individuals and the community.
Their demands are eminently reasonable: official acknowledgment of the injustice; some historical markers; a plaque in a national park; and symbolic financial compensation.
Today, Mary Haskett, the last known Ukrainian survivor of the camps was to go to Ottawa to plead with Mulroney. Her letter to the Prime Minister begins: "I was 6 when I was interned, along with my parents, Andrew and Katherine, my brother John, and my sisters Annie and Carolka. She (Carolka) was only 2 1/2-years-old when she died at the Spirit Lake internment camp."
Is Mulroney's strategy to defer dealing with all of these reasonable demands until there aren't any survivors left?
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Document URL: http://www.infoukes.com/history/internment/booklet02/doc-074.html
Copyright © 1994 Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association
Copyright © 1994 Lubomyr Luciuk
We acknowledge the help in the preparation of this document by Amanda Anderson
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Originally Composed: Tuesday December 3rd 1996.
Date last modified: Thursday October 30th 1997.