BC NDP promises to honour the Japanese-Canadians by recognizing a historic wrong

When the election campaign in British Columbia was in its final stage, the New Democrat Party of British Columbia (BC NDP) announced that they would work with the Japanese-Canadian community to heal the traumatic internment experienced during World War II.

In the October 16th statement, BC NDP said that a re-elected BC NDP government would continue building a more inclusive future and honouring the Japanese-Canadian community by recognizing a historic wrong in British Columbia.

“While these events stand as a reminder for how racism, discrimination and hate have hurt generations of people, they also remind us of the incredible resiliency of people who stand up against injustice,” said the party leader John Horgan.

There were more than 22,000 Japanese-Canadians who lived on the west coast, such as Vancouver and Victoria. The Canadian government decided to move those Japanese-Canadians, many of whom were born in Canada to more than 100 miles east from the Vancouver coast in 1942 after Japan attacked Pearl Harbour in December 1941.

Many of them were forced to live in the internment camps at various places in British Columbia. Their living conditions were harsh, and they were not allowed to come back to the west coast until four years after the war was over.

Many internment camp survivors have said they went through an identity crisis and suffered tremendously.

In the statement, Mr. Horgan said, “we have a moral and ethical responsibility to acknowledge our past because it shapes our province today. And we’re going to keep working together to make BC a better and more inclusive province for everyone.”

BC NDP did not specifically say what the party would do to work with the Japanese-Canadian community if they were elected. But it said, “more British Columbians will learn about these atrocities through recognition in libraries, communities, and at the BC Legislature. This is just one step the BC NDP is taking to help heal traumas of the past and ensure a lasting legacy for the Japanese-Canadian community.”

What the re-elected BC NDP government will do remains to be seen after the election.