March 16, 1942.
First arrivals at Vancouver’s Hastings Park Manning Pool. All Japanese Canadian mail is censored from this date.
About 8,000 Japanese Canadians, most from outside of Vancouver, were shipped to Hastings Park (the official name was Hastings Park Manning Pool) and held there before being transported to camps. Hastings Park closed in September, 1942 except for about 105 hospital patients who stayed there until March 1943.
The story of the injustice against Japanese Canadians in 1942 is Canadian history. 80 years ago, about 22,000 Japanese Canadians were forcibly uprooted, dispossessed, incarcerated, and exiled. The action against Japanese Canadians (babies to seniors) was a racist act not for national security. Senior representatives of both the Canadian military and the RCMP said that Japanese Canadians did not pose any threat to the security of the country. None of the 22,000 was ever charged with any espionage or as a threat to Canada.
The racism is not limited to 1942. Racism was prevalent against Indigenous peoples and racialized settlers since first contact. The incarceration that started in 1942 didn’t end until 1949, four years after the Second World War ended.
Throughout this year, the National Association of Japanese Canadians will be sharing some of the facts and stories from 1942. Remember so that the injustice is never repeated with any other group of people.