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Ukrainian-Canadian internment will be recognized - Charest

The Edmonton Journal
12 April 1993

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Kapuskasing Internment Camp on the Kapuskasing River, circa 1916. (Photo courtesy of the Ron Morel Museum)

I am writing to clear up a misunderstanding reported in The Journal March 30 (Charest rejects request to honor interned Ukrainians) and March 31 (Edwards urges recognition of injustice meted to Ukrainians) on interned Ukrainians.

The situation regarding the Ukrainian Canadians is one of many dimensions. The question of redress for Ukrainian Canadians interned during the First World War is being examined by my colleague, Gerry Weiner, minister of multiculturalism and citizenship. The matter is before cabinet and the issue has my full support.

The historic sites and monuments board studied the question of recognizing internment of Ukrainian Canadians in Banff National Park. The board is an independent body made up of historians and other experts from across Canada, including a member from Alberta. It is charged under statute to advise and make recommendations to the minister, free from political considerations, on the "national historic significance" of people, places or events.

I accepted the recommendation of the board when it was submitted to me two years ago. However, if individuals feel that not all the facts have been accounted for, then nothing prevents a request for the board to re-examine the recognition of the Castle Mountain/Banff internment camp with a plaque.

It is also important to indicate that my letter to Lubomyr Luciuk (director of research for the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association) assured him that the internment in Castle Mountain will be recognized as part of the presentation of the human history of Banff National Park. My officials have met with the Ukrainian community in that regard, and I encourage them to pursue their consultations with the community in view of putting forward the human history at Castle Mountain/Banff camp. I look forward to announcing this project in the near future.

Jean J. Charest

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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: Wednesday December 4th 1996.
Date last modified: Thursday October 30th 1997.