Fear and Suspicion

  • 500,000 Germans, Austrian, and Hungarians and some Ukrainians from the German territories in Canada during WW1
  • They were treated fairly at first but as the war started they were viewed with suspicion
  • Citizens were afraid and hysterical and rumours that these immigrants were spies were going around.
  • Fear that they would blow up the Welland Canal
  • People demanded that these ‘enemies’ be locked up

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Labour Camps

Camps were intended to hold enemy aliens who:
-went against regulations                        – deemed as security threats
-failed to report monthly                          – failed to register
-writing to people in home countries     – travelled without permission
-acting in a suspicious manner               – being undesirable

Camp conditions were terrible for the people and to live in:

  • Forced to work on maintaining the camps, road building, railway construction & mining
  • Men worked long hours for little pay, food and clothes
  • Camps denied the people access to newspapers and to articles written in their own language
  • Often mistreated by the guards
  • 8 579 Canadians were interned (held at camps) between 1914 and 1920, 117 died, and only 2321/857 were actually enemies of Canada, the rest were civilians
  • 24 concentration camps scattered around Canada

War Measures Act

The act allowed the government to have an advantage when or if an emergency situation were to have arisen which included an invasion, rebellion, or another emergency were to have occurred to due to the war.

Introduction to Civics: Origins of Canada’s Government

War Measures Act was caused by Fear and Suspicion

  • Rumours of spies form Germany, Austria Hungry and fear arose of enemies planning to blow up the Welland canal
  • People demanded that the people from these countries (“enemy aliens”) be fired form their jobs and locked up.
  • In response to the people the War Measured act formed on august 4th 1914 and it remain in effect till January 20th 1920
  • An addition to the act was added in 1917 which prevented the formation of socialist and communist organizations.

Under the Act

  • Immigrants from nations that were indirectly or directly connected with Austria Hungary, Germany and the Ukraine were no longer allowed to come to Canada (stopped immigration)
  • People from Austria Hungary, Germany and the Ukraine were classified as enemies under the act
  • “Enemy Aliens” were not allowed to: 1) to possess any firearms 2) to leave the country without permission 3) to read write and publish anything that wasn’t French or English
  • Most of the enemy aliens were placed in concentrations while others were forced to leave Canada
  • The act was used three times in Canada’s history, the first time was in world war one, it was used for the second time in world was two and for the third time it was used in 1970 to deal with terrorist in Quebec.

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