Relocation to Southern Alberta

Lethbridge Herald newspaper article of opposition to Japanese coming to prairies, January 23, 1942
Courtesy of the University of Lethbridge Archives

“We do not want to see the Japanese gathered in Alberta.”

Alberta Premier Aberhart, March 1942

In March 1942, the Alberta government announced the federal government plan to bring 580 Japanese families into Alberta to counteract the shortage of war-time labour in the sugar beet fields. The Alberta provincial government opposed the Japanese being in Alberta and demanded that the Japanese be kept under constant federal supervision to prevent espionage or sabotage.

They also demanded that any costs involved, such as health and education, should be the responsibility of the Dominion, and that the Japanese be removed from the province at the end of the war.

Members of the Lethbridge Northern Beet Growers in the Picture Butte District gave unanimous approval for the use of Japanese workers in the sugar beet fields.