UCCLA Media Release
For Immediate Release - Toronto (Sept. 25, 2006)
During CANADA'S FIRST NATIONAL INTERNMENT OPERATIONS of 1914-1920 thousands of Europeans were needlessly imprinted as "enemy aliens" in Canadian concentration camps under the provisions of the WAR MEASURES ACT. They were forced to do heavy labour, had what little wealth they had confiscated, and many also lost the right to vote. A majority of those imprisoned were Ukrainian Canadians, including some women and children.
On Saturday, 30 September 2006, two trilingual bronze plaques will be unveiled at the BEAUPORT ARMOURY (11h00) and at CANADIAN FORCES BASE VALCARTIER (13h30), in Quebec, recalling the use of those two federal installations as internment camps, the former between 28 December 1914 and 22 June 1916, the latter from 24 April 1915 to
23 October 1915.
Since 1994, the UKRAINIAN CANADIAN CIVIL LIBERTIES ASSOCIATION and its supporters have erected dozens of commemorative plaques across Canada. Commenting on their work, UCCLA's director of research, Dr Lubomyr Luciuk, said:
"We are determined to recover the memory of a still relatively unknown episode in Canadian history. Our association, a group of unpaid volunteers, has been working hard for well over a decade now to ensure that what happened to these innocent men, women and children is not forgotten, particularly as we can all appreciate how important it is to remain vigilant in defence of human liberties and civil rights in periods of international and domestic crisis."
Although the government of Canada signed an Agreement in Principle with the Ukrainian Canadian community, in August 2005, and Bill C 331 - the Ukrainian Canadian Restitution Act, received Royal Assent, in November 2005, none of the funding pledged for commemorative, research and educational initiatives has been provided to date.
The public is cordially invited to witness the plaque unveilings.