October 14, 1983 (32nd Parliament, 1st Session)


Mark R. MacGuigan (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)


Hon. Mark MacGuigan (Minister of Justice):

Madam Speaker, I think there is a general disposition in Canadian society and Parliament to recognize there were serious excesses in the way that Japanese Canadians were treated during the Second World War. As the Hon. Member knows, as a result of the Bird Commission after the war, that was recognized in part by compensation paid to some 1,300 claimants in 1950 for property claims. Of course that does not exhaust the range of possibilities. Once one gets beyond property claims, however, one gets into undefined areas where there can be a considerable amount of disagreement.
As Japanese Canadian spokesmen have said themselves, it is not just or even primarily, a question of compensation. It is something that has to be worked out by our society with the assistance of the Japanese Canadian communities. There is a considerable disagreement still, as I understand it, among members of that community about how we can best make up for the excesses of the past. I think some further maturing time is required for a consensus to develop on the best way to proceed.
Personally, I have no problems with the suggestions made by the Hon. Member, but I do not think at this point we could adopt one suggestion or another.
Report of Special Committee IMMIGRATION

Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
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