VANCOUVER, May 23, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, Tim Uppal, Minister of State for
Multiculturalism, highlighted a number of initiatives by the Government
of Canada to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Komagata Maru at an event held at Simon Fraser University (SFU).
This year as part of Asian Heritage Month, which is celebrated every
May, the Government of Canada is undertaking a number of initiatives to
remember the tragic event of the Komagata Maru. Specifically, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has:
Designed and distributed an educational poster to commemorate the 100th
anniversary of the Komagata Maru incident;
Participated in the unveiling of Canada Post's Komagata Maru stamp at the Asian Heritage Month launch reception on May 6; and
Created a Web page on CIC's Web site to provide information on the tragedy and Canada's
At the event held at SFU's Vancouver campus, Minister Uppal was joined
by community partners from Surrey and Vancouver to discuss the various Komagata Maru projects that have been developed to commemorate the anniversary.
The Komagata Maru arrived in Vancouver harbour in 1914 carrying 376 passengers of Indian
descent, most of whom were not allowed to land. This was because the
ship did not make a direct journey to Canada, as prescribed by Canada's
Continuous Journeys clause, which was in place at the time. After two
months under difficult conditions, the ship and most of its passengers
were forced to return to India where, in a subsequent clash with
British soldiers, 19 passengers died.
In May 2008, the Government of Canada passed a unanimous motion in the
House of Commons, recognizing the Komagata Maru incident and apologizing to those who were directly affected. On August
3, 2008, Prime Minister Harper conveyed that apology to the
Indo-Canadian community in Surrey, BC.
CIC has provided funding, through the Community Historical Recognition
Program (CHRP), toward a number of projects that recognize and raise
awareness of the Komagata Maru. For example, the Khalsa Diwan Society received a total of $1.4 million
for the development of two projects, a monument and a museum which
commemorate the Komagata Maru incident.
The CHRP was announced in 2006 and launched in 2008, closing
successfully in March 2013. Through the CHRP, $13.5 million was made
available to support 68 community projects.
"Our government is committed to recognizing the experience of the
Indo-Canadian community and other communities affected by immigration
restrictions in Canada's past. Today, we commemorate the Komagata Maru incident, acknowledging a dark moment in our shared history, to help
ensure that tragedies like this one never happen again."
Tim Uppal, Minister of State for Multiculturalism
Minister Kenney issues statement on Asian Heritage Month
Asian Heritage Month
Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Komagata Maru incident
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SOURCE: Citizenship and Immigration Canada
For further information:
Minister's Office - Minister Uppal
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
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