MLA Michelle Mungall recently spoke in the Legislature about rectifying British Columbia’s past that saw 75 Japanese-Canadian UBC students denied their degrees because they were interned during the Second World War. After seventy years, the students will finally be awarded their degrees during a ceremony at the university on May 30.
“While professors spoke out against the injustice, it took seventy years for them and the students to finally be heard,” noted Mungall in her statement.
The Province of BC has issued a formal apology to Japanese Canadians for its involvement in their interment in the 1940s. Mungall noted that the Minister of Advanced Education, who delivered the apology, shared her own family’s experience to illustrate how important the apology is in rectifying the past.
One man who will be receiving his honorary degree has a Kalso connection. Ninety-three year-old Fred Sasaki saw members of his family sent to an internment camp located where the Kaslo Hotel now sits.
“Separated from his family, Fred was forced out of UBC. The racism was dehumanizing and cruel,” said Mungall.
“I want to congratulate Fred and his classmates. You have overcome injustice, contributed to your communities and made Canada a better place.”
To view the video transcript click here