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B.C. apologizes for WWII internment

May 7, 2012 at 9:51 PM

VICTORIA, British Columbia, May 7 (UPI) -- The British Columbia Legislature voted Monday to apologize for the province's role in interning Japanese-Canadians during World War II.

Japanese-Canadian survivors received an apology and compensation from Canada's national government in 1988, but the provincial apology was appreciated by survivors such as Toshio Suzuki, who postponed cancer treatment to witness it, the Richmond Review reported.

Suzuki was 7 years old when he and his family were ordered off their small strawberry farm in Pitt Meadows in 1942 and sent by train to an internment camp.

"The timing is perfect today, because it is the 70th anniversary of the internment," Suzuki told the newspaper. "It's also the 30th anniversary of when the Constitution was repatriated back to Canada, which includes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Those two, for me, kind of tie it all together."

Advanced Education Minister Naomi Yamamoto, who introduced the motion for the apology with unanimous support, recounted how her father, a high school student in Vancouver at the time, was interned along with 21,000 Canadians of Japanese descent. Two-thirds of them were Canadian-born.

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