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The Japanese Canadian internment was the forced removal of more than 22,000 Japanese Canadians during the Second World War by the government of Canada. Following the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, prominent British Columbians, including members of municipal government offices, local newspapers and businesses called for the internment of the Japanese. In British Columbia, there were fears that some Japanese who worked in the fishing industry were charting the coastline for the Japanese navy, acting as spies on Canada’s military.

Military and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) authorities felt the public’s fears were unwarranted, but the public opinion quickly pushed the government to act. [1] Canadian Pacific Railway fired all the Japanese workers, and most other Canadian companies did the same. [1] Japanese fish boats were first confined to port, and eventually, the Canadian navy seized 1,200 of these vessels. [1] Many boats were damaged, and over one hundred sank. 2] A Royal Canadian Navy officer questions Japanese-Canadian fishermen while confiscating their boat. In January 1942, a “protected” 100-mile (160 km) wide strip up the Pacific coast was created, and any men of Japanese descent between the ages of 18 and 45 were removed and taken to road camps in the British Columbian interior, to sugar beet projects on the Prairies, or to internment in a POW camp in Ontario.

Despite the 100-mile quarantine, a few men at the McGillivray Falls, just outside the quarantine zone, were employed at a logging operation at Devine, near D’Arcy, British Columbia, which is inside the quarantine zone, while those in the other Lillooet Country found employment with farms, stores, and the railway. [3]. Tashme, on Highway 3 just east of Hope, among the most notorious of the camps for harsh conditions, was just outside of the exclusion zone. All others, including Slocan, were in the Kootenay Country in southeastern British Columbia. 4] Most of the 21,500 people of Japanese descent who lived in British Columbia were naturalized or native-born citizens. [1] Those unwilling to live in internment camps or relocation centres faced the possibility of deportation to Japan. On February 24, 1942 an Order-in-Council passed under the War Measures Act giving the federal government the power to intern all “persons of Japanese racial origin. “[5] In early March, all ethnic Japanese people were ordered out of the protected area, and a daytime-only curfew was imposed on them. Some f those brought inland were kept in animal stalls for the Pacific National Exhibition at Hastings Park, in Vancouver for months. [1] They were then moved to ten camps in or near inland British Columbia towns, sometimes separating husbands from their wives and families. [1] However, four of those camps in the Lillooet area and another at Christina Lake were formally “self-supporting projects” (also called “relocation centres”) which housed selected middle and upper class families and others not deemed as much a threat to public safety. 6][7][8] Officially, those living in “relocation camps” were not legally interned – they could leave, so long as they had permission – however, they were not legally allowed to work or attend school outside the camps. [2] Since the majority of Japanese Canadians had little property aside from their (confiscated) houses, these restrictions left most with no opportunity to survive outside the camps. [2] Some of the interned citizens had been combat veterans of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, including several men who had been decorated for bravery during the fighting on the Western Front in the First World War.

While racism had been a barrier in some units between 1914-18, other units (notably the 10th Battalion) accepted sizeable numbers of ethnic Japanese Canadians without official prejudice and employed them in a combat role as individual replacements. Small numbers of military age Japanese-Canadians were later permitted to serve in the Canadian Army in the Second World War, as interpreters and in signal/intelligence units. Property confiscation In 1943, the Canadian “Custodian of Aliens” began to sell the possessions of Japanese Canadians without the owners’ permission.

The Custodian of Aliens held auctions for these items, ranging from farm land and houses to people’s clothing. They were sold quickly at prices below market value. [10] Funds raised went towards the fees of realtors and auctioneers, and storage/handling charges, and Japanese owners rarely received much income from the sales. [2] Unlike official prisoners of war who, according to Geneva Convention, didn’t have to pay their living expenses, Japanese internees did. [10] By comparison, Japanese American internees, protected by the Bill of Rights were less likely to lose property. [2] UNEF

The first United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) was established by United Nations General Assembly to secure an end to the 1956 Suez Crisis with resolution 1001 (ES-I) on November 7, 1956, and in large measure as a result of efforts by UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold and a proposal from Canadian minister of external affairs Lester Pearson. The first UN military force of its kind, its mission was to: … enter Egyptian territory with the consent of the Egyptian Government, in order to help maintain quiet during and after the withdrawal of non-Egyptian forces and to secure compliance with the other terms established in the resolution … o cover an area extending roughly from the Suez Canal to the Armistice Demarcation Lines established in the Armistice Agreement between Egypt and Israel. Since the operative UN resolutions were not passed under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the deployment of a military force had to be approved by Egypt. After multilateral negotiations with Egypt ten countries offered to contribute to the force: Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, India, Indonesia, Norway, Sweden, and Yugoslavia. Support was also provided by United States, Italy, and Switzerland.

The first forces arrived in Cairo on November 15, and UNEF was at its full force of 6,000 by February 1957. The force was fully deployed in designated areas around the canal, in the Sinai and Gaza when Israel withdrew its last forces from Rafah on March 8, 1957. The UN secretary general sought to station UNEF forces on the Israeli side of the 1949 armistice lines, but this was rejected by Israel. [1] The mission was directed to accomplish its mission in four phases: 1. In November and December 1956, the force facilitated the orderly transition in the Suez Canal area when British and French forces left. . From December 1956 to March 1957, the force facilitated the separation of Israeli and Egyptian forces and the Israeli evacuation from all areas captured during the war, except Gaza and Sharm-el-Sheik. 3. In March 1957, the force facilitated the departure of Israeli forces from Gaza and Sharm-el-Sheik. 4. Deployment along the borders for purposes of observation. This phase ended in May of 1967. Due to financial constraints and changing needs, the force shrank through the years to 3,378 by the time its mission ended in May 1967.