The bill was just, Prime Minister King argued, because it avoided the racial discrimination of disenfranchising those few Japanese Canadians who had previously enjoyed the franchise, while also avoiding the "racial favouritism" of granting Pacific Coast Japanese privileges they had not previously enjoyed.24 King was not about to acknowledge that the bill also prevented the uprooted Japanese from voting against the Liberal government and for the only party that had publicly defended them, the CCF.

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The occasion was the introduction of the , which set up the machinery by which Canadian soldiers serving overseas could vote in the forthcoming general election.

After the bill had passed the Commons, it was discovered that one clause within it disenfranchised "any person whose racial origin [was] that of a country at war with Canada."23 Since that clause would disenfranchise considerable numbers of German and Italian Canadians, opposition to the bill rapidly escalated.

There had been no wholesale dispossession of Japanese Americans because the Alien Land Laws of the Pacific coast states meant that Japanese American property was owned not by the immigrant Issei, but by their Nisei children, in name at least. Similarly, the Constitution of the United States prohibited the deportation of citizens.

The property rights of the Nisei were protected by the U. It was unlikely, therefore, that the Americans would be able to stage any large-scale deportations even if they wished to do so.

Those judged to be disloyal, King informed the Commons, would be "deported to Japan as soon as that is physically possible," and any Canadian nationals among them would be stripped of their citizenship.

In addition, Japanese Canadians who wanted to go to Japan after the war would be "encouraged" to do so, while postwar immigration from Japan was to be prohibited.25 Although King acknowledged that to do other than "deal justly with those who are guilty of no crime or even of ill-intention" would be to accept "the standards of our enemies,"26 the policies he outlined were based on the assumption that the only people in Canada who were to be considered guilty until they had proven their innocence were people with Japanese faces.

Their blunt comments on policies they considered "unjustifiable on any basis of decency or humanity"3 had annoyed those among their superiors who had supported those policies.

By the spring of 1943 Keenleyside and Angus had been squeezed from the decision-making process.4 Ignored, they soon found themselves assigned to a series of odd jobs, which kept them largely isolated from questions involving Japanese Canadians.5 On the West Coast only a few members of the clergy and the tiny Consultative Council for Cooperation in Wartime Problems of Canadian Citizenship opposed the racists.6 Condemning mass deportation as fascistic, the Consultative Council by 1943 was urging the government to disperse Japanese Canadians across Canada in order to accelerate their assimilation into Canadian society, and to assist those who wished to go to Japan after the war to do so.

Opinion in British Columbia did not differ significantly from the national opinion.21 While some public figures like Ian Mackenzie ignored this poll and clung tenaciously to their anti-Japanese prejudices, others had begun to adjust their stance.

Among these were the majority of Vancouver's aldermen, who rejected Mayor Cornett's mass deportation resolution on 5 June 1944.22 The rights of Canadian citizens of Japanese ancestry were also being debated in the House of Commons in June 1944.

Those who refused, along with their families, should then be segregated into special camps and deported after armistice together with the men interned at Angler and any Japanese Canadian whose behaviour was deemed disloyal.