Premier Christy Clark and NDP Leader John Horgan joined forces in the British Columbia legislature on May 28 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Komagata Maru incident, when a ship carrying 376 Indian immigrants was turned away from Vancouver harbour.
Members of the Khalsa Diwan Societies of Vancouver and Nanaimo and descendants of passengers aboard the Komagata Maru, were on hand to witness the event in Victoria.
The Komagata Maru was a Japanese steamship carrying mostly Sikh veterans of the British armed forces to British Columbia in 1914.
Premier Clark called the incident “a stain on the history of Canada.”
She noted it reflected the racist attitudes of the time.
Federal and provincial officials and the courts took the position that Indian immigrants were not culturally compatible with Canadian society.
The legislature unanimously endorsed a formal apology for the incident in 2008.