Internment of Persons of Croatian Origin Recognition Act

An Act to acknowledge that persons of Croatian origin were interned in Canada during the First World War and to provide for recognition of this event

This bill was last introduced in the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session, which ended in March 2011.

This bill was previously introduced in the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session.

Sponsor

Borys Wrzesnewskyj  Liberal

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Introduced, as of May 26, 2009
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment acknowledges that persons of Croatian origin were interned in Canada during the First World War under the authority of an Act of Parliament and expresses the deep sorrow of Parliament for that event.

The enactment provides for negotiations to take place between the Government of Canada and the Committee on Education, Culture and Heritage of the Canadian-Croatian Chamber of Commerce in respect of measures that may be taken to recognize the internment. These measures may include the installation of commemorative plaques as well as public education initiatives.

The enactment also allows a request to be made to the Canada Post Corporation for the issue of a commemorative stamp or set of stamps.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Internment of Persons of Croatian Origin Recognition ActRoutine Proceedings

May 26th, 2009 / 10:05 a.m.
See context

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-394, An Act to acknowledge that persons of Croatian origin were interned in Canada during the First World War and to provide for recognition of this event.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce my private member's bill, the internment of persons of Croatian origin recognition act.

The purpose of the bill is to acknowledge and commemorate a tragic episode in our nation's history when persons of Croatian origin were rounded up, interned and used as forced labour in a number of internment camps in Canada.

With the outbreak of World War I, prejudice and racism was fanned into xenophobia, culminating in the implementation of the War Measures Act as a result of an order in council by the Canadian government.

Five thousand, nine hundred and fifty-four so-called enemy aliens, of whom more than four hundred and fifty were of Croatian origin who had immigrated to Canada from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, were interned.

While some would prefer to sweep this tragic episode of history of the internment operations of 1914 to 1920 into the dustbin of history, the Croatian Canadian community remembers and, through public acknowledgement by the government, seeks to bring closure to a painful episode in our common history.

By enacting this legislation and recognizing this tragedy, it is my hope that a better public understanding of what happened will reinforce and promote our shared values of multiculturalism, inclusion and, above all, mutual respect.

It is my sincere hope that my colleagues on all sides of the House will embrace and support this worthy and long overdue initiative.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)