A new exhibition on Lost Liberties at the Canadian Museum of History

December 16, 2021

Gatineau, Quebec, December 16, 2021 — The Canadian Museum of History presents a new exhibition that invites visitors to reflect on the difficult balance between national security and individual liberties in times of crisis. From December 17 to September 5, 2022, Lost Liberties – The War Measures Act will shed new light on the enduring impact of this Act on Canada and its people.

Developed by the Museum, the exhibition explores the fears, racism and crises that drove the suspension of civil liberties in Canada during the First World War, the Second World War and the 1970 October Crisis. In each crisis the federal government applied the War Measures Act, which had serious impacts on the civil liberties of many individuals, groups and communities in Canada.

Lost Liberties examines, notably, the internment of Canadians of Ukrainian origin and other nationalities during the First World War, the internment of Italian Canadians and the internment and forced relocation of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War, and the arrest of hundreds of people in Quebec during the 1970 October Crisis.

“Through some rare artifacts presented in the exhibition, that speak powerfully to these important events, the public will learn more about these difficult chapters in Canadian history,” explains Chantal Amyot, Acting Director General of the Canadian Museum of History. “Lost Liberties not only places these crises in their historical context, it examines them through multiple perspectives and, above all, it presents poignant first-hand accounts from the men, women and children who lived through them.”

The exhibition uses photos, drawings, quotes, audio and video accounts, and objects to highlight the experiences of the people whose stories are shared.

Developed by the Canadian Museum of History and generously supported by a grant from the Endowment Council of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund, Lost Liberties – The War Measures Act will be presented until September 5, 2022.

Located on the shores of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, the Canadian Museum of History welcomes over 1.2 million visitors each year. The Museum’s principal role is to enhance Canadians’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the events, experiences, people and objects that have shaped Canada’s history and identity, as well as to enhance Canadians’ awareness of world history and culture. Work of the Canadian Museum of History is made possible in part through financial support of the Government of Canada.

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Media contact:
Stéphanie Verner
Senior Media Relations
and Communications Officer
Canadian Museum of History
Telephone: 819-776-7169