OTTAWA – British Columbia Premier Christy Clark issued the following
statement as she attended today’s apology concerning the racist
policies that denied the Komagata Maru entry into Canada on May 23,
“The Komagata Maru is an important part of both Canada’s and British
Columbia’s history that we must never forget. In our great province and
country, it is vital to remain steadfast in our goal to create an
inclusive environment for all cultures that celebrates diversity and
refuses to tolerate racism and hatred.
“In 2008, the B.C. legislature also issued a formal apology for the
events of May 23, 1914, when 376 passengers of the Komagata Maru were
denied entry to Canada. It is my honour, as premier, to attend the
federal government’s formal apology ceremony, along with a delegation
of fellow British Columbians.
“Today is also an opportunity to acknowledge the many contributions of
British Columbians of South Asian descent, who, unlike the Komagata
Maru passengers, were able to realize their dreams and forge new
beginnings here. Their stories are woven into the very fabric of B.C.’s
rich cultural mosaic.
“South Asian pioneers and early settlers not only helped to build this
province, they established strong cultural ties between India and
British Columbia, playing a significant role in furthering B.C.’s
international trade and investment strategy to diversify our economy
and create jobs for British Columbians.
“As the most ethnically diverse province in Canada, increased
participation by all cultures is vitally important to the creation of a
strong and vibrant social and economic future for B.C.”