At the start of World War I, the War Measures Act was implemented by the Canadian Government. This resulted in 8,579 “enemy aliens”, people who came to Canada from territories under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, being placed into internment camps. Over 5,000 were Ukrainians.
The camp internees were used to develop Banff National Park, the logging industry in Northern Ontario & Quebec, the steel mills in Ontario & Nova Scotia, and in the mines in British Columbia, Ontario & Nova Scotia.
This program continued for two years after the end of the war.
An additional 80,000 individuals, the vast majority being Ukrainians, were obliged to register as “enemy aliens” and report to police authorities on a regular basis.
Canada recognized this injustice, with the passing of Bill C-331, Internment of Persons of Ukrainian Origin Recognition Act in 2005, and the creation of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund in 2008.
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