TORONTO – 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.