Today, the RCMP offered an expression of regret for the internment of Italian Canadians during the Second World War.
As a result of the War Measures Act, 31,000 Italian Canadians were designated as enemy aliens and approximately 600 Italian Canadian men were arrested and held in internment camps between 1940 and 1943. The RCMP was responsible for carrying out the arrests of these men.
In a ceremony attended by nearly 200 family members of Italian internees, members of the Italian community, and RCMP employees, the expression of regret was delivered officially by RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki. Oral historian Joyce Pillarella gave a moving account of families' experiences as a result of the internment.
The ceremony was attended by former RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli, Karen McCrimmon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Mr. David Lametti, Member of Parliament for LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, as well as representatives from Ottawa Police Service and community associations.
"This ceremony is symbolic of our commitment to strengthening relationships with all communities in Canada, to better serve and protect the country we all call home," said Commissioner Lucki.