It’s Just History…

The problem with history [is that] it is interpreted by the historian. And depending upon what kind of mindset the historian has, you may have one idea on one hand or another idea on the other hand. And sometimes trying to find the middle ground between the two of them – that's when you reach the truth. To really understand history you have to read several aspects of it.

Roger Boccini Nincheri, son of internee Berto Boccini and step-grandson of internee Guido Nincheri, Columbus Centre Collection

Canada has a history of interning populations it considers a threat to public safety. What occurred during World War II was not an isolated case.

Citing the necessities of war or emergency situations, individual rights have been suspended for the common good. The results of such actions – detainments or internments – are an ongoing challenge to modern democracies, including Canada.

In a democratic society there is room for multiple political beliefs, opinions and religions. Holding views in favour of fascism, communism or religious fundamentalism is not specific to certain communities; nor does this necessarily make a person or group of people a security risk.

While security is in the interest of all Canadians, we must strive for a balance between individual rights and public safety. This balance should be maintained especially during periods of crisis.

Can it happen again? In trying to answer this question honestly, we begin the work of ensuring it does not.