Apology to Italian Canadians for internment in second World War
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, delivered a formal apology in the House of Commons for the internment of Italian Canadians during the Second World War.
Following Italy’s declaration of war against Canada on June 10, 1940, the Government of Canada interned more than 600 people of Italian heritage. Around 31,000 Italian Canadians across the country were declared “enemy aliens”, and many experienced discrimination, lost their jobs, or saw their businesses boycotted or vandalized. The government’s actions violated the values that our country was fighting to secure during the Second World War, including freedom, equality, and justice, and had serious impacts on families and the Italian Canadian community.
The Prime Minister apologized to those who were interned, their families, and the Italian Canadian community for the pain and hardship they endured because of this historical injustice. He recognized Italian Canadians’ many contributions, including in business, arts and culture, science and technology, politics, and skilled professions, that have helped build our country, from coast to coast to coast. He also reaffirmed the government’s commitment to a strong, diverse, and more inclusive Canada.
“Canadians of Italian heritage have helped shape Canada, and they continue to be an invaluable part of the diversity that makes us strong. Today, as we acknowledge and address historical wrongs against the Italian Canadian community, we also show our respect for their great contributions to our country.”
The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada May 27, 2021, Ottawa, Ontario