Federal NDP pushes for formal Komagata Maru apology in Parliament

JASBIR Sandhu, MP for Surrey North, issued the following statement on Wednesday in the House, continuing to push for an apology on the 100th anniversary of the Komagata Maru:

“Mr. Speaker, May 23 marks the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the Komagata Maru into Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet. With 376 passengers on board, the Komagata Maru ended its long Pacific journey to Canada, only to be met with rejection.

“Due to the discriminatory “continuous journey” regulation, passengers were prevented from disembarking while the ship remained in Burrard Inlet for two months. Passengers were denied basic necessities, such as food and water.

“This was one of several incidents in the early 20th century involving Canada’s exclusion laws designed to keep out immigrants of Asian origin and descent.

“The tragedy of the Komagata Maru marks a dark chapter in Canadian history, one that must be honoured by the recognition of the failures of our past and inspire us to pursue a more equal Canada for future generations.

“Along with my NDP colleagues, I will continue to push for a formal official apology on the floor of the House of Commons for this tragedy. An apology is long overdue and a necessary part of the healing and reconciliation process.”