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, 1914:

“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.”