News Release — Italian-Canadians' Memorial Unveiled in Montréal


Montréal, December 12, 2012 — A monument to commemorate the experiences of Italian Canadians who were interned in Canada during the Second World War was unveiled today at the Casa d’Italia, in Montréal.

To help build this monument, the Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association (CIBPA) received a $168,376 contribution from Citizenship and Immigration Canada under the Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP).

Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation and a member of the Italian-Canadian community, attended the event on behalf of Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

“This monument was erected to keep alive the memories of the Italian internees,” said Minister Fantino. “Today, we should remember those who overcame such burdens, and celebrate the great contribution that they have made to build our country.”

This contribution also funds the construction of 20 smaller replicas of the monument that will be awarded each year to the winners of the CIBPA’s Personality of the Year. Furthermore, the contribution supports the creation of an accompanying 40-page booklet on the internment experience.

“The internment during the Second World War under the War Measures Act marks an unfortunate chapter in our nation’s history,” said Minister Kenney. “The Government of Canada recognizes the historical experiences of the Italian-Canadian community during that period.”

When war broke out in Europe in September 1939, Canada was governed by wartime emergency measures. Some Canadians of Italian origins were designated as enemy aliens, arrested and interned.

The CHRP has made available approximately $4 million for projects to recognize the experiences of the Italian-Canadian community.

The CIBPA was founded on June 10, 1949, in response to the injustices of the internment experience of the Italian Canadians during the Second World War.

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For further information (media only), please contact:

Alexis Pavlich
Minister’s Office
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

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