Mr. Speaker, this week, a resolution calling on the Canadian Parliament to apologize for the Komagata Maru incident was unanimously passed by the Punjab assembly. Last year, we commemorated the centennial anniversary of the incident. However, the Canadian government has yet to issue a formal apology in the House.
The Komagata Maru incident was a dark moment in Canada's past. In 1914, 352 passengers aboard the steamship were denied entry into Canada based on a discriminatory immigration policy. The ship was forced to return to India and, as a result, 19 passengers were killed. In 2008, the Liberal Party introduced a motion that was unanimously passed in the House of Commons calling on the Canadian government to issue a formal apology.
On May 7, 2014, in reference to the Komagata Maru, I stated, “As we mark what will be the 100th anniversary of this tragic event, I would ask that the Prime Minister provide a formal apology here on the floor of the House of Commons this month”. The Prime Minister has not responded. With Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, visiting Canada next month, it is time that the Canadian government issue a formal apology on the floor of the House of Commons. If not, the leader of the Liberal Party will provide a formal apology if we are elected into government later this year.