Trudeau to deliver apology to Italian-Canadians for internment during Second World War

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to deliver a formal apology in the House of Commons today for the internment of Canadians of Italian descent during the Second World War.

In a news release earlier this month, Trudeau said the Italian Canadian community has carried the weight of the unjust policy of internment during the war.

After Italy declared war against Canada in 1940, Canada interned more than 600 people of Italian heritage and declared about 31,000 of them as “enemy aliens.”

Justice Minister David Lametti says the internment happened following an order-in-council that was promulgated by the then-justice minister Ernest Lapointe.

He says none of those who were interned was ever convicted and the internees weren’t afforded due legal process.

Lametti says people were put on RCMP lists for having made donations to the Italian Red Cross or for being members of certain labour groups.

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This report was first published by The Canadian Press on May 27, 2021.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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