Category Archives: Project CTO

Eparchy of New Westminster recalls the First World War Internment Operations


On Friday 22 August, 2014 at  Holy Eucharist Cathedral Parish in New Westminster, British Columbia the Ukrainian Catholic Community of the Lower Mainland/Vancouver commemorated and recalled Canada’s First National Internment Operation 1914-1920 with a Panakhyda/Memorial Service and blessing of commemorative plaque.  The memorial service was celebrated by Most Rev. Ken Nowakowski, bishop of New Westminster with concelebrants, Fr. Yuriy Vyshnevskyy, of Holy Eucharist Cathedral, Fr. Andrii Chornenkyy, of Holy Cross parish in Surrey, and Fr. Richard Soo sj, of Dormition of the Mother of God parish in Richmond.

Attending and speaking at the commemoration service was Hon. Mark Warawa, Federal Member of Parliament who brought greetings from Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, Ms. Lorrie Williams, deputy Mayor of New Westminster, Mirko Petriw, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Vancouver branch and His Excellency Mir Huculak, Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Vancouver. The ceremony was attended by members of the Ukrainian Catholic Community in the Greater Vancouver area.

Thousands of Ukrainians in the World War I living in Canada who had recently immigrated to Canada and held Austrian passports were arrested and disenfranchised and classified as enemy aliens.  The Canadian Government has recently recognized the great wrong that was committed to these men, women and children.

Photo courtesy Doreen Kostyniuk

CTO — Hundred Plaques Project — in the news


For Immediate Release – Ottawa, 20 June 2014
Working with the support of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation will soon begin distributing bilingual plaques recalling Canada’s first national internment operations of 1914-1920 to selected sites, from coast to coast across the country. Dubbed “Project CTO” (One Hundred) this is the first-ever attempt in Canadian history to recall an historic injustice by simultaneously unveiling 100 plaques marking the 100th anniversary of The War Measures Act and the start of the internment operations.
On Friday, 22 August 2014, the first plaque will be unveiled in Amherst, Nova Scotia, at 11 am (local time) and then this “wave” of plaque unveilings will move west, from province to province, culminating at 11 am (local time) in Nanaimo, British Columbia. These plaques are being installed in parish halls, cultural centres, museums, and archives, not only in Ukrainian Canadian venues but in centres associated with the German, Hungarian, Serbian, Croatian and Armenian communities, which were also harmed by the state-sanctioned censures imposed on “enemy aliens” during the First World War.
Information about all 100 sites can be found on the website of the Endowment Council (, at the website of the UCCLF ( and Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (
Everyone is urged to attend an unveiling ceremony in their own community to hallow the memory of all of the “enemy aliens” as Canada <”CTO” plaque, © UCCLF, 2014.jpg>marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War.
For more information please contact:
Dr Lubomyr Luciuk, Project CTO Lead,

Briefing Notes for CTO unveiling ceremonies

During Canada’s first national internment operations of 1914-1920 thousands of men, women and children were branded as “enemy aliens,” and many were interned, forced to do heavy labour for the profit of their jailers, disenfranchised, and subjected to other state-sanctioned indignities, not because of any wrong they had done, but only because of who they were, where they had come from.

Twenty-four (24) camps were established across the Dominion, housing 8,579 men, women and children. Some 3,000 were Prisoners of War (POWs) but the majority were civilian internees.

Internment operations were authorized by The War Measures Act (22 August 1914) and continued until June 1920, nearly two years after the Great War with the Armistice (11 November 1918).

Ukrainians and other Europeans constituted the majority of the civilian internees – the so-called “Second Class” POWs – with Bulgarians, Croatians, Czechs, Hungarians, Rumanians, Serbians, Slovaks and others rounded up only because they came to Canada with passports identifying them as citizens of the multinational Austro-Hungarian Empire. As well some Armenians, Alevi Kurds and other citizens of the Ottoman Turkish Empire were interned. Most “First Class” POWs were Germans and Austrians.

Women and children were held in two camps, one in Vernon, British Columbia, the other in Spirit Lake (near Amos), Quebec.

Internees were obliged to do heavy labour under armed guard. What little wealth some had was confiscated upon their arrest, and not all of it was returned.

Racist and anti-immigrant attitudes in the pre-war period, coupled with wartime xenophobia and ignorance, were responsible for the internment operations although Ottawa was informed by the British Government (in January 1915) that many of the “races” being rounded up were “hostile to Austro-Hungarian rule.”

Most internees were single, young men, immigrants lured to Canada with promises of free land and freedom (e.g. 170,000 Ukrainians arrived between 1891 and 1914), although a few internees were naturalized British subjects or even Canadian-born. Some so-called “enemy aliens” served in the ranks of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) by lying about who they were.

In September 1917 passage of The War Time Elections Act disenfranchised many “enemy aliens.”

The first permanent internment camp was opened at Fort Henry, in Kingston, Ontario, 18 August 1914; the last to close was at Kapuskasing, 24 February 1920.

The campaign for recognition and symbolic redress was spearheaded by the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association, (, guided by the words of a survivor from the Spirit Lake internment camp, Montreal-born Mary Manko Haskett: any such effort, she counselled, must be “about memory, not money.”

Following passage of MP Inky Mark’s Bill C-331 (Internment of Persons of Ukrainian Origin Recognition Act) the Government of Canada established the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund (, in 2008. Its Endowment Council represents all affected communities and internee descendants and supports commemorative and educational initiatives recalling the internment operations. Project CTO (One Hundred) is sponsored by the CFWWIRF, in association with the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation (

This is a first-ever event in Canadian history with over 100 plaques recalling an historic injustice being unveiled on the same date (Friday, 22 August 2014) and time, 11h00 (local time) from coast to coast, fittingly starting with Amherst, Nova Scotia and ending in Nanaimo, British Columbia, two of the 24 internment camp sites of the Great War period.

The same War Measures Act that was used against Ukrainians and other Europeans during the First World War would be deployed again during the Second World War, against our fellow Canadians of German, Italian and Japanese heritage, and in 1970, against some Quebecois.

With Project CTO we hallow the memory of all of the internees, and remind all Canadians of the need to remain vigilant in defence of human rights and civil liberties, particularly in times of domestic and international crisis.

prepared by Project CTO Lead, Professor Lubomyr Luciuk (9 July 2014)

“What was done to us was wrong. Because no one bothered to remember or learn about the wrong that was done to us it was done to others again, and yet again. Maybe there’s an even greater wrong in that.”

– Mary Manko Haskett, survivor, Spirit Lake internment camp

CTO – the One Hundred Plaques Across Canada Initiative

UCCLF Media Release

Announcing CTO – the One Hundred Plaques Across Canada Initiative

Ottawa – For Immediate Release (26 January 2014)

To mark the 100th anniversary of Canada’s first national internment operations of 1914-1920, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation ( will be unveiling 100 plaques on Friday, 22 August 2014, the 100th anniversary of the War Measures Act.

This initiative, the CTO (“One Hundred”) project, enjoys the financial support of the UCCLF and of the Endowment Council of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund


All 100 plaques will be unveiled at 11 am (local time) in Ukrainian, Croatian, Serbian, German, and Hungarian churches and cultural centres, as well as in local and regional museums and other public venues, creating a “wave” of unveilings, moving from east to west, from coast to coast.

Dr Lubomyr Luciuk, the CTO project leader, said: “Beginning in 1994, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association ( began placing historical markers to recall the internment operations, hoping to eventually have a plaque at each of the 24 camp sites. We started with Kingston’s own Fort Henry, the location of Canada’s first permanent internment camp. Over the course of some 20 years our volunteers and supporters have made sure each internment camp location has been marked. The CTO project builds on UCCLA’s foundational work. These plaques will hallow the memory of all of the victims of the internment operations and help educate our fellow Canadians about a little-known episode in Canada’s national history. That fulfils the mandate of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund and of the UCCLF.

I want to add that this is the first time in Canadian history that any community has attempted to unveil 100 historical plaques from coast to coast at the same (local) time. This couldn’t happen without the enthusiastic support of hundreds of volunteers in 100 communities across the country, from Amherst, Nova Scotia to Nanaimo, British Columbia, and Grand Prairie, Alberta to Val D’Or, Quebec to name but a few. We’re also very grateful to our Patriarch, the two Metropolitans, the national executive of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, the representatives of the other affected communities and many of our internee descendants, for their help.

We’re calling on people to set aside 11 am (local time) on Friday, 22 August 2014 so that they can join us in witnessing a plaque unveiling in their own community or region. Be there to remember, and to learn.”

The UCCLF and CFWWIRF will be publishing a list of all CTO plaque locations before April 2014.

For more information please contact: Dr Lubomyr Luciuk