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The struggle continues for Japanese Canadians

The Story


For politicians, it's a Pandora's box. This CBC Television report features the ongoing fight for redress. When Pierre Trudeau was in office, he offered a statement of regret but ruled out financial compensation to the Japanese Canadians. If they are to be compensated, so to must the Acadians and the native people, he argued. Brian Mulroney blasted Trudeau for this inflexible policy and made election pledges that he would do things differently. But now that his government has taken power, little seems to have changed. The National Association of Japanese Canadians, the lobby group fighting for redress led by Art Miki, continues to demand individual compensation and an official acknowledgement. Jack Murta, Minister in charge of Multiculturalism, says the financial settlement will be in the form of a foundation for the community. In this fiery exchange, Barbara Frum questions Murta about the Mulroney policy flip-flop.

Medium: Television
Program: The Journal
Broadcast Date: Jan. 31, 1985
Guests: Art Miki, Jack Murta
Host: Barbara Frum, Keith Morrison
Duration: 13:15

Did You know?


• In 1947, a commission of inquiry was established to determine whether the Japanese Canadians were entitled to compensation for the loss of their property. The commission was led by Justice R.I. Bird. He found that property held by the Japanese Canadians had not been sold at fair market value. The reparations paid by the government, however, were inconsistent and still did not compensate for the true value lost. The commission also neglected to address the issues of loss of freedom and dignity.

• "One finds it difficult to forget the wrongs committed in freedom's name, a few years ago." - Prime Minister John Diefenbaker

• "The action by the Canadian government was a black mark against Canada's traditional fairness and devotion to principles of human rights." - Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson


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