RELIGION

Canada PM apologizes for rejection of migrant ship in 1914

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formally apologizes, Wednesday, May 18, 2016, in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, for a 1914 Canadian government decision that barred most of the passengers of the Komagata Maru from entering the country. Canadian officials refused to allow the Indians in, even though they were British subjects just like every other Canadian of the time. The chartered vessel was carrying 376 Indian passengers, nearly all of them Sikhs, bound for what they thought would be a new life in Canada. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formally apologizes, Wednesday, May 18, 2016, in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, for a 1914 Canadian government decision that barred most of the passengers of the Komagata Maru from entering the country. Canadian officials refused to allow the Indians in, even though they were British subjects just like every other Canadian of the time. The chartered vessel was carrying 376 Indian passengers, nearly all of them Sikhs, bound for what they thought would be a new life in Canada. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is applauded as he formally apologizes, Wednesday, May 18, 2016, in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, for a 1914 Canadian government decision that barred most of the passengers of the Komagata Maru from entering the country. Canadian officials refused to allow the Indians in, even though they were British subjects just like every other Canadian of the time. The chartered vessel was carrying 376 Indian passengers, nearly all of them Sikhs, bound for what they thought would be a new life in Canada. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is applauded as he formally apologizes, Wednesday, May 18, 2016, in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, for a 1914 Canadian government decision that barred most of the passengers of the Komagata Maru from entering the country. Canadian officials refused to allow the Indians in, even though they were British subjects just like every other Canadian of the time. The chartered vessel was carrying 376 Indian passengers, nearly all of them Sikhs, bound for what they thought would be a new life in Canada. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is applauded as he formally apologizes, Wednesday, May 18, 2016, in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, for a 1914 Canadian government decision that barred most of the passengers of the Komagata Maru from entering the country. Canadian officials refused to allow the Indians in, even though they were British subjects just like every other Canadian of the time. The chartered vessel was carrying 376 Indian passengers, nearly all of them Sikhs, bound for what they thought would be a new life in Canada. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is applauded as he formally apologizes, Wednesday, May 18, 2016, in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, for a 1914 Canadian government decision that barred most of the passengers of the Komagata Maru from entering the country. Canadian officials refused to allow the Indians in, even though they were British subjects just like every other Canadian of the time. The chartered vessel was carrying 376 Indian passengers, nearly all of them Sikhs, bound for what they thought would be a new life in Canada. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is offering a full apology in Parliament for a government decision in 1914 to turn away a ship carrying hundreds of South Asian immigrants.

The Komagata Maru from Hong Kong arrived off Vancouver only to have almost all of its 376 passengers, nearly all Sikhs, denied entry due to immigration laws at the time.

The ship was eventually sent to Calcutta, and least 19 people were killed in a skirmish with British soldiers. Others were jailed.

Former prime minister Stephen Harper apologized at an event in British Columbia in 2008, but members of the Sikh community have long said an apology should be offered formally in Parliament.

Trudeau apologized Wednesday for turning the ship away and for every regrettable consequence that followed.