During 1941 to 1945, World War II was a sad time in Canada’s history. Due to the unfortunate attacks on Pearl Harbor, Japanese Canadians were treated unjustifiably. The Canadian government subjected the Japanese Canadians to financial loss, racism, relocation of residencies, and harsh living situations.
The attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941 sparked nationwide ramifications to the Japanese Canadians, especially financial loss. For instance, many Japanese Canadians lost their jobs “Canadian Pacific Railways fired all its Japanese workers, and most other Canadian industries followed suit” (Japanese 1). Furthermore, many Japanese Canadians relied on fishing boats to support their families, but “Canada declared war on Japan on Dec. 7, 1941, and the seizure of Japanese-Canadian fishing vessels started the next day” (Legion 3); this resulted in a huge loss of income. Many Japanese Canadians during World War II had their property seized, which left them with no home to return to. More to the point “In 1943, the Canadian agency that oversaw confiscated properties began to auction off the properties without permission of the owners” (World 2). Consequently, Japanese Canadians undoubtedly endured financial struggle and were treated like the enemy.
During World War II Japanese Canadians were victim to racism which impacted their lives negatively. Fear and chaos had heightened after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and white Canadians feared all Japanese Canadians would side with their homeland. Evidently, the Canadian Government bowed to requests to get rid of the Japanese Canadians. For example, “On December 15, 1945, three Orders in Council were issued under the authority of the War Measures Act. These allowed the Minister of Labour to deport Japanese nationals and also natural born or Canadian citizens of Japanese descent. 10,000 requests for deportations were received by the government. 3946 Japanese were sent back to Japan, none of them (or so we are told) against their will” (The 2). The war Measures Act was carried through even though the Canadian government had no evidence of any Japanese Canadians being suspicious. “The removal order was opposed by Canada’s senior military and RCMP officers who stated that Japanese Canadians posed no threat to Canada’s security”(Japanese Canadians 2). In addition even two years after the war Japanese Canadians were still being deported finally “In 1947 these orders were revoked because of the thought that Canada was only using the deportations as a way of removing the "Oriental Problem" rather than it being a wartime security measure” (The 2). Finally, it is clear that the Canadian government was trying to have an all-white country even Ian Mackenzie states, “‘it is the government’s plan to get these people out of B.C. as fast as possible. It is my personal intention, as long as I remain in public life, to see they never come back here. Let our slogan be for British Columbia: No Japs from the Rockies to the seas'"(Japanese 2). Unfortunately Japanese Canadians were forced to relocate since they were branded as Enemy Aliens.
The relocations of residencies were not optimal for Japanese Canadians in World War II. First, Japanese Canadian families were segregated by the Canadian Government in order to prevent an increase in population of the race. Unfortunately, the Canadian government’s view of safety was blinded by paranoia in which resulted in the forced relocation of Japanese Canadians. For Example, “On January 14th, an area, stretching 100 miles inland from the Pacific coast, was designated as a ‘protected area,’ or an area free of foreigners who might pose a threat, through an Order-in-Council. All Japanese male nationals between 18 and 45 were removed from this area and sent to work camps near Jasper,” (Centre 2). To further prove the injustice of relocations, “On February 25, 1942, a further Order-in-Council was passed, giving the Minister of Justice the