“On this date in 1988, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney rose in the House of Commons to formally apologize and offer compensation for the forced removal of thousands of Japanese Canadians from the West Coast during the Second World War, the subsequent seizure of their property, their wrongful incarceration and the disenfranchisement of their community. He said:
‘I know that I speak for Members on all sides of the House today in offering to Japanese Canadians the formal and sincere apology of this Parliament for those past injustices against them, against their families, and against their heritage, and our solemn commitment and undertaking to Canadians of every origin that such violations will never again in this country be countenanced or repeated.’
“The mistreatment of Japanese Canadians by authorities of the era represents a dark moment in our country’s history, one that Canadians rightfully look back upon with regret.
“A quarter century ago, the decision of the Government of Canada to offer redress for this mistreatment marked an important step in righting a historical wrong and in affirming our obligation to remember all those who had been subjected to undue suffering.
“On the 25th anniversary of this important decision, I encourage all Canadians to reflect on the lessons learned from past mistakes that are at odds with our values as a society, and to use those lessons to continue to build a better future for Canada.
“As the Minister for Multiculturalism, I extend my best wishes to the Japanese Canadian community as we mark this significant anniversary.”
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