THAT NEVER HAPPENED reveals the story of Canada’s first national internment operations between 1914 – 1920, when over 88,000 people were forced to register and more than 8,500 were wrongfully imprisoned in internment camps across Canada, not for anything they had done but because of where they came from.
In 1954, the public records were destroyed and in the 1980s a few brave men and women began working to reclaim this chapter in history and ensure future generations would know about it. They uncovered the stories of the Croatian, Serbv, Turk, Armenian and Ukranian civilians who had been welcomed as settlers, but who were interned after the outbreak of World War I in “concentration camps”. The 1914 War Measures Act was the first formal suspension of civil liberties in Canada. Descendents of these innocent internees find it hard to believe what their ancestors experienced, and destruction of records in the National Archives have made research much more difficult. The Ukranian Canadian community led the campaign for recognition of the losses and injustices during this time, and to ensure that this part of Canadian history will be remembered in a meaningful way.