Japanese Canadians at Hastings Park
A Brief Timeline: 1941-1943
At the time of the uprooting in early 1942, of the 23,303 persons of Japanese origin in Canada, 75.5% are Canadian citizens (60.2% Canadian-born and 14.6% naturalized citizens).
December 7 Japan attacks Pearl Harbor. Canada declares war on Japan. Under the War Measures Act, Order in Council P.C. 9591, all Japanese nationals and those naturalized after 1922 are required to register with the Registrar of Enemy Aliens.
December 8 1,200 fishing boats are impounded and put under the control of the Japanese Fishing Vessel Disposal Committee. Japanese language newspapers and schools closed. Insurance policies are cancelled.
December 16 P.C. 9760 is passed requiring mandatory registration of all persons of Japanese origin, regardless of citizenship.
January 16 An area 100 miles inland from the west coast is designated as a "protected area".
February 7 All male "enemy aliens" between the ages of 18-45 are forced to leave the protected coastal area before April 1. Most are sent to work on road camps in the Rockies. Some are sent to Angler.
February 24 P.C. 1486 empowers the Minister of Justice to control the movements of all persons of Japanese origin in the protected area.
February 26 Minister of Justice orders all persons of "the Japanese race" to leave the coast. Cars, cameras and radios confiscated. Dusk-to-dawn curfew is imposed.
March 1 Hastings Park buildings were formally leased to the government
March 4 B.C. Security Commission is established to plan, supervise and direct the expulsion of Japanese Canadians. Through P.C. 1665, property and belongings are entrusted to the Custodian of Enemy Alien Property as a "protective measure only".
March 14 Official announcement notifying that 2500 people would soon be transported
March 16 First arrivals at Vancouver's Hastings Park from outlying areas on the coast. All Japanese Canadian mail is censored from this date.
March 16 – 22 Transportation of community members from outlying areas:
• Tofino, Clayoquat, Maquinna, March 14
• Powell River and district, Lady Cecilia, March 15
• Gibson’s, Port Mellon, Capilano, March 15
• Portland Canal, Calata, March 16
• Ocean Falls, Princess Adelaide, March 17
• Quathiaski Cove, Cheloshin, March 18
• Read Island, Redonda Bay, Lady Cecilia, March 18
• Bella Bella, Namu, Calata, March 18
• Ucluelet, Kildonan, Maquinna, March 19
• Bella Coola, Gardena, March 19
• Seymour and Knight Inlet, Cheloshin, March 20, 21
• Alert Bay, Cassiar, March 18, 22
• Rivers Inlet, Cardena, March 22
• Prince Rupert and Skeena, by train, March 23
• Queen Charlotte Islands, Camosun, March 26-27
• Cumberland, Courtenay, Fanny Bay, Deep Bay, April 15
• Salt Spring Island, Galiano Island, Mayne Island, April 21
• Chemainus, Duncan, Paldi, Cowichan Valley, April 21
• Victoria and area, April 22
March 25 Population at Hastings Park is 1,593. B.C. Security Commission initiates a program of assigning men to road camps and women and children to ghost town detention camps.
June 29 P.C. 5523 – The Director of Soldier Settlement is given authority to purchase or lease farms owned by Japanese Canadians. He subsequently buys 572 farms without consulting the owners.
September 1 Population at Hastings Park is 3866 people
September 30 Hastings Park Assembly Centre officially closed
October Hastings Park hospital remains open with 105 people
October 31 According to the BC Security Commission report, by the end of October, 21,079 people were uprooted from the BC Coast.
• Road camp projects 986
• Sugar Beets, Alberta 2,585
• Manitoba 1,053
• Ontario (males) 350
• Slocan Valley (Slocan City, Bay Farm, Popoff, Lemon Creek) 4,764
• Tashme 2,624
• New Denver/Roseberry 1,701
• Greenwood 1,203
• Kaslo 965
• Sandon 920
• Self-Supporting Projects 1,164
• Independent and Industrial Projects 431
• Special Permits 1,337
• Repatriated to Japan 42
• Evacuated voluntarily (before March 1942) 579
• Internment camps 699
• In detention, Vancouver 57
• Hastings Park, Hospital 105
By the end of 1942, approximately 12,029 persons have been uprooted to detention camps in the interior of British Columbia, 945 men are in labour camps, 3,991 are placed as labourers on sugar beet farms in the Prairie provinces, 1,161 are in voluntary self-supporting sites outside the ‘protected area’, 1,359 are given special work permits, 699 are interned in prisoner-of-war camps in Ontario, 42 are repatriated to Japan, 111 are in detention in Vancouver and 105 are in hospital in Hastings Park, approximately 2,000 were living outside the ‘protected area’ and allowed to remain in place but required to register and give up prohibited items, and subject to restriction of activities. There were 94 who were partners in mixed marriages, with 100 offspring, who were allowed to remain on the coast.
Completion of the new Sanatorium at New Denver
105 people remained in Hastings Park hospital until spring 1943
March 31, 1943 Internment Hospital at Hasting Park officially closed. The patients and medical staff left Vancouver by train and travelled to New Denver – it was an overnight journey due to a rock slide on the tracks.