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May 23rd, 2023

NDP statement on the 109th anniversary of the Komagata Maru incident

Canada’s NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh issued the following statement:
"On May 23, 1914, the steamship Komagata Maru, carrying 376 passengers, mostly Sikh immigrants, arrived in Vancouver's Burrard Inlet, seeking a better life in Canada. However, they were denied entry due to racist immigration policies and subjected to imprisonment, persecution and discrimination. The ship was sent back to India: only 20 passengers were allowed to disembark, and 19 passengers were killed.

The Komagata Maru incident serves as a stark reminder of the systemic racism and xenophobia that was alive and well in societies throughout the world. It is a painful memory that highlights the immense suffering and injustice inflicted upon those simply seeking an opportunity and a safe place to call home.

As we remember this dark chapter in Canadian history, let’s today be a reminder of all of the lingering racism, discrimination and prejudice that still exists for newcomers to Canada and celebrate the vast diversity all immigrants bring to this country."