Statement by NDP MP Jasbir Sandhu (Surrey North), on the anniversary of the Komagata Maru incident

Canada: Today marks the day in 1914 when the Komagata Maru, a ship carrying 376 Indian passengers arrived in Vancouver seeking refuge. Due to discriminatory laws, passengers were prevented from disembarking and the ship remained in Burrard Inlet for two months before it was sent back. While the ship was in port, passengers were denied basic necessities, including food and water.

In order to close this dark chapter of Canadian history and lay the foundation for healing, last May the NDP introduced a motion and launched a national petition campaign, widely supported by the Indo-Canadian community calling on the Harper government to issue an official apology in the House of Commons.

We were all deeply disappointed when the Conservatives rejected this opportunity to make amends for their previous insincere apology and forge a new beginning.

On this the 99th anniversary of that sad day, New Democrats are renewing our call for the Conservative government to do the right thing and issue an official apology in the House of Commons.

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