Insult Indo-Canadian Canadian Community with Muffled Apology
Toronto, Aug 05, 2008
Gary Singh, LA
For Immediate Release
August 4, 2008
The Conservative Government has insulted the Indo-Canadian community
with a haphazard apology for the Maru incident.
While many Indo-Canadians waited for an official apology for the
Komagata Maru incident in the House of Commons, they were shocked
to hear Prime Minister Stephen Harper make an apology while speaking
to a crowd of Indo-Canadians in Surrey, B.C. at a cultural event
“The actions taken by the Conservative government are shameful
and disrespectful to the Indo-Canadian community and the families
impacted by the Komagata Maru injustice. Why is the Indo-Canadian
community any less deserving of an official and respectful apology
delivered in the House of Commons?” asked Dr. Ruby Dhalla,
Member of Parliament for Brampton Springdale.
On May 15th 2008, the historic Private Members motion put forward
by Dr. Dhalla asking the Government to apologize for the 1914 Komagata
Maru tragedy was unanimously passed in the House of Commons. Upon
the passing of the motion many community activists and Canadians
who had worked tirelessly on this issue awaited for an official
apology to be made in the House of Commons. Many members of the
Indo-Canadian community gathered at the event in Surrey immediately
denounced the Prime Minister’s apology and requested the apology
be made in the House of Commons.
This latest move by the Conservatives is just one of many examples
of their questionable support for the apology. When Dr. Dhalla's
Private Members Motion requesting the Government to apologize was
originally introduced on April 2 2008, the Conservative Government
was opposed to the motion. After extensive community outcry and
pressure, the Conservative Government was forced to change its original
“At first the Conservative Government was opposed to supporting
my motion requesting an apology, then after community pressure they
were forced to change their position. Now, the Government has once
again disrespected the Indo-Canadian community by making an apology
at a cultural event for a tragedy that was a grave injustice and
a black mark on our nation’s history,” said Dr. Dhalla.
“The Komagata Maru injustice will forever serve as a reminder
of the struggles and challenges that so many immigrants have encountered
in their hope for a better future in Canada. The Prime Minister
should have done the right thing by making an apology to the Indo-Canadian
community in the House of Commons in a respectful and dignified
manner. The Indo-Canadian community deserves far more respect than
what the Conservative Government has demonstrated," said Dr.
Dr. Dhalla joins many Canadians in requesting the Prime Minister
and the Conservative Government to make an official apology for
the Komagata Maru injustice in the House of Commons.