From 1942 to 1949, a group of innocent Canadians were uprooted from their homes and businesses on the west coast, dispossessed, and forced to disperse across Canada, merely on the basis of their Japanese ancestry. Some 4,000 were even exiled to wartorn Japan.
These injustices remained unresolved for nearly forty years. Then in the 1970s, a handful of Japanese Canadians began a movement to seek redress for these wrongs, through a negotiated settlement with the Government of Canada. What began as the dream of a few became a national movement that captured the attention of the entire Canadian public by the mid-1980s.
The Redress Settlement signed on September 22, 1988 by the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC) and the Prime Minister of Canada was hailed as a major victory for human rights.
The substantial Redress Settlement negotiated by the National Association of Japanese Canadians offered:
Individual compensation to Japanese Canadians directly affected by the injustices
A community fund to assist in rebuilding the community that was destroyed
pPrdons for those wrongfully convicted under the War Measures Act
The offer of citizenship to those exiled and to their descendants
The establishment of a Canadian Race Relations Foundation to combat racism
Justice in Our Time celebrates Japanese Canadian redress. From the historic injustices, through the redress movement, to the final events leading up to the settlement day on September 22, 1988?the dramatic story of redress is told through a rich interweaving of commentary, photographs, quotations, and historic documents.
Cassandra Kobayashi graduated from the University of Toronto law school, hoping to make a difference. A few years later, she joined and helped shape the grass-roots community movement in Vancouver to seek redress for the forced removal, internment, and abrogation of the rights of Canadians of Japanese ancestry. She served on the national Redress Committee that negotiated the historic 1988 settlement with the Government of Canada. The struggle for redress is documented in her book, Justice in Our Time: The Japanese Canadian Redress Settlement, co-authored with Roy Miki.
In 1990, she closed her boutique law practice, to become an Appeal Commissioner at the final level of appeal in the workers’ compensation system. She held many executive positions in the tribunal, including Deputy Chief and Registrar.
Now retired, Cassandra writes about the art of living with diabetes, with a good measure of scepticism for the usual management ideas. Visit her
website for travel and recipe explorations.
“A powerful and moving testament to the successful efforts of the NAJC. ”
— Globe & Mail
?A powerful and moving testament to the successful efforts of the NAJC. ?
? Globe & Mail