The apology comes 81 years after the treatment of Italian following Italy’s declaration of war against Canada
Apologies go a long way and are an essential prerequisite to healing and writing the wrongs of past governments. Prime Minister Trudeau’s recent apology to the Italian community is not only historic, but it was also heartfelt and welcomed by the Italian community. Since becoming Prime Minister, Trudeau has made historic apologies to residential school’s and Sixties Scoop survivors, the Inuit community, the Indian community for the Komagata Maru incident, the LGBT2Q community, and exonerated Chief Poundmaker.
A statement from the Prime Minister’s office read, “Following Italy’s declaration of war against Canada on June 10, 1940, the Government of Canada interned more than 600 people of Italian heritage. Around 31,000 Italian Canadians across the country were declared “enemy aliens”, and many experienced discrimination, lost their jobs, or saw their businesses boycotted or vandalized. The government’s actions violated the values that our country was fighting to secure during the Second World War, including freedom, equality, and justice, and had serious impacts on families and the Italian Canadian community.”
“Canadians of Italian heritage have helped shape Canada, and they continue to be an invaluable part of the diversity that makes us strong. Today, as we acknowledge and address historical wrongs against the Italian Canadian community, we also show our respect for their great contributions to our country.” The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
The Italian community has been essential in the shaping of Canada. Whether it being from the business community to the contribution of culture and infrastructure, the apology by the Canadian government only further amplifies Canada’s willingness to correct the wrongs of our predecessors.