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Political Apologies and Reparations Document List Details

Harper apologizes in B.C. for 1914 Komagata Maru incident

Author: Staff
Source: (Link)
Date: 03 August 2008
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Document Type: Press
Donor: Government of Canada Event Date: May 23, 1914
Recipient: Passengers of the Komagata Maru (Indo-Canadians) Reparation Date: August 3, 2008

On May 23, 1914 the Komagata Maru arrived in Vancouver carrying 376 immigrants from India.  Immigration officials in Vancouver refused to allow the passengers to disembark.  In doing so they relied on Canadian legislation of the time which required immigrants to have arrived in Canada from their country of origin.  Since the Komagata Maru had stopped between India and Canada, the Indian migrants on board were not eligible to land in Canada.  While discussions continued, the Komagata Maru remained in Vancouver harbour for two months, before returning to India.  On the return voyage, the passengers on board the Komagata Maru rioted and 20 of them were killed.




Prime Minister Stephen Harper, speaking at a gathering in Surrey, British Columbia, apologized for the actions of the Canadian Government in its dealings with the Komagaga Maru, and in refusing its passengers permission to disembark.


The apology was immediately rejected by some members of the Indo-Canadian community, who expressed their belief that the apology should have been delivered on the floor of the House of Commons.


Komagata Maru; India; apology; Prime Minister; Stephen Harper; Multiculturalism; Canadian; Identity; commemoration; historical; recognition; program; immigration; Canada