Does Canada have to apologize for everything?
Old 05-14-2008, 03:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Quote:
Ottawa promises apology for Komagata Maru incident

After more than nine decades, the federal government is set to apologize for preventing a shipload of would-be Indian immigrants from landing in Vancouver.

In Surrey on Saturday, Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity Jason Kenney said Ottawa would provide $2.5 million in grants to commemorate the two-month standoff with the Komagata Maru. An apology could be read in Parliament this week.

"The community is very, very happy that after 94 years, you know, our government is finally going to recognize and apologize for this unfortunate incident in our history," said Jasbir Sandhu, a spokesperson for the Professor Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation, on Sunday.

"It's not only a good day for the Indo-Canadian community — it tells you where we are as a society in Canada today. We have moved far, far away from those discriminatory policies of the early 20th century."

In 1914, the Japanese charter ship Komagata Maru arrived in Vancouver harbour with 376 migrants from India. Immigration officials refused to let the passengers disembark, using the continuous journey regulation which required migrants to arrive in Canada directly from their country of origin.
The ship was forced to anchor in the harbour where it stayed for two months before finally returning to Calcutta, all the would-be immigrants still aboard.

On Friday the federal government also offered $10 million to the Ukrainian-Canadian Foundation to support initiatives marking the First World War internment of Ukrainians and people from other eastern European ethnic communities in Canada.

The federal government on Thursday offered $5 million to the Chinese-Canadian community in grants for commemorative and educational projects related to immigration restrictions.

Previously the federal government has offered apologies and compensation for the head tax paid by Chinese immigrants and for the internment of Japanese-Canadians during the Second World War.
Canada is coughing up 2.5 million to set up a memorial for this incident that happened 94 years ago. Essentially, a boatload of immigrants got turned away from Canadian soil and sent back home. Today, the government is set to apologize for it's actions.

What do you think?
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think it's all ridiculous.

Why is the goverment apologizing on behalf of a bunch of dead people to a bunch of dead people?

Wouldn't that money be better spent on health care, child care, education, saving the planet...?
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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A little too late if you ask me. I tend to agree with ACIE and that the money should be spent to more serious concerns here in Canada with health care & education being to top priority.
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Don't forget that Canada has already apologized to the First Nations and for the Chinese Head Tax. It would be unjust to not have to be accountable for this incident as well, no?

Those passengers were also British subjects, and were discriminated against in support of mass xenophobia at the time, particularly people of colour.
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Obviously the immigration laws of the time were discriminatory and unfair, but the man who chartered the ship was well aware of them, chose to challenge them and lost.

And now you and I will have to foot the bill for the "commemorative grants" because of a bunch of decisions made 94 years ago.
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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In an odd way, this is a way for Canada to pick and choose which type of history it wishes to acknowledge. Every state in the world has "blood on its hands" yet they only choose to commemorate certain moments.

Methinks that this has more of a political stance than anything. Considering the world events surrounding Tibet at the moment, this is a way for Canada to clean the slate of recent history, therefore when the big show comes to Canada in 2010 we essentially have no outstanding geopolitical situations.

But in reality, this is ridiculous.
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It's getting silly.

Quote:
Canadian parliament may label Ukrainian famine as genocide


Canada may formally recognize the Ukrainian famine of the 1930`s as an act of genocide despite concerns raised by the Foreign Affairs Department, says a Conservative backbencher pushing the idea in Parliament, according to The Canadian Press.

James Bezan, who has tabled a private member`s bill to label the famine as genocide and set aside an annual memorial day in November, said he has been told that Foreign Affairs is worried about his legislation, presumably because it could offend Russia.

"I`m somewhat aware of (the concerns) because these things kind of bubble up through the lines of communication, but you know, that`s their business," Bezan told The Canadian Press on Monday.

"I`m more concerned that we pay proper recognition to what happened in `32 and `33 in Ukraine."

The famine saw millions of people starve in an area that was long known as Europe`s breadbasket. People on Soviet-controlled collective farms went hungry as food was exported from the region.

More than a dozen countries, including the United States, already formally recognize the famine as a deliberate attempt by the Soviet regime of Josef Stalin to eliminate ethnic Ukrainians and end their aspirations for independence.

But some academics, and many Russians, disagree.

Some historians say the famine was a result of Russia trying to pay for industrialization through grain exports while leaving millions of rural residents - not only Ukrainians, but also Russians and Kazakhstanis - to starve.

The lower house of Russia`s parliament said in a recent resolution that "there is no historical proof that the famine was organized along ethnic lines."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper commemorated the anniversary of the famine last November and condemned the Stalin regime, but did not use the term genocide. Still, some members of Parliament are optimistic the government will come on side.

Bezan said the Prime Minister`s Office hasn`t weighed in on his bill - a sign he sees as encouraging.

"If it was a big issue, I would have been under some pressure not to even put it onto the order paper, right?" said Bezan, who represents the Selkirk-Interlake riding in Manitoba.

The bill is faring much better than most private member`s bills, which die a quick death.

hile there is still no guarantee it will pass, a debate has been set for June 9, and Liberal and NDP members support it.

"I don`t think there is a shred of opposition in Parliament to recognizing the famine as a genocide and I just wish the government would get on with it," said New Democrat MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis.

Harper will be under more pressure to adopt the genocide label when Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko visits Ottawa and three other Canadian cities starting May 26.

There is also growing support at the United Nations to recognize the famine as genocide, although a date for a vote on the issue has not been set.

"Sometimes I think we have to call things what they really are," said Ostap Skrypnyk, executive director of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

"(Calling it a genocide) is another tool that allows people to really come to grips with what was taking place in Ukraine . . . and it honours the memory of the people who suffered there."

The Canadian Press
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm kinda glad they're recognizing that as genocide, actually.
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Ok, the genocide in Russia perpetuated by the Stalinists and well the communist party, was ridiculous. But why has it taken this long? But the question should be, why does it take this long? Espescially in the era of the Cold War; why has it taken it this long?

And why has noone to this day recognized the Armenian genocide? Sadly, we live in a society of numbers (see: holocaust) yet refuse to recognize other such atrocities (My Lai, Armenia, Boer War etc).
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Old 05-14-2008, 06:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aar_Canada View Post
I'm kinda glad they're recognizing that as genocide, actually.
But why should Canada potentially recognize it and have a memorial day?

It's got nothing to do with us.

Are we just going to start picking every social injustice that's occured in the last 150 years and start doing this?
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Old 05-14-2008, 06:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACIEEARL40 View Post
But why should Canada potentially recognize it and have a memorial day?

It's got nothing to do with us.

Are we just going to start picking every social injustice that's occured in the last 150 years and start doing this?
But then the question arises, let's look at some of the other social injustices we recognize. Why do we give them the proper tribute? What places those groups ahead of others? I'm not saying give groups a holiday, but formal recognization, really can't hurt.
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Old 05-14-2008, 06:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claudius View Post
But then the question arises, let's look at some of the other social injustices we recognize. Why do we give them the proper tribute? What places those groups ahead of others? I'm not saying give groups a holiday, but formal recognization, really can't hurt.
Seriously, what other social injustices do we recognize?

Although I'd be all for recognizing one of our own.

How about David Milgaard Day?
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:12 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I think a lot of this is purely political strategy. The timing of it says more than anything else. If we are wondering why it has taken this long to recognize some of the wrongs in Canada's past, maybe we can take a look at our current political situation. The Conservatives are in a minority position with a leader that does not have a great approval rating, but still better than the Liberals' Dion, whose ratings are abysmal. If you are able to target areas where the Liberals are traditionally strong, like with minorities, then you might be able to get some of the "Blue Liberals" (if you can adjust the Red Tories term), those who are more to the right, but not far enough to consider themselves a Conservative. Small c.

If you are a minority and see that the government in power is at least making some sort of movement in minority relations, if righting past wrongs is important to you, then this could be a little bump that starts making you look at the Conservatives in a different light. It could be just the thing that starts a groundswell and gives enough votes to bring a majority in a snap election.

Of course, this all rests on a very base argument that the minority vote is this sort of beast that just comes down from the woods every once in a while, en masse, voting in total cohesion. It's not going to work like that, but I definitely think this is part of the thought process on the Conservatives part.

Personally, as a minority, I really do not care about past apologies and transition of funds and actually find them quite problematic. First, you are setting a bad precedent as far as who and what you are recognizing. Do we extend it to the miscues at Grosse Ile and all of the emigres who were left there to die? Where do we draw the line? Second, how do you determine who precisely receives any sort of compensation? How do you determine who has what specific bloodlines and how do you guarantee the funds are properly dispersed? Who is going to oversee that? Third, we still have a lot of cultural issues in Canada today. I would rather see our country partake in a proactive form of nation-building than a reactive or even retroactive one.
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Old 05-15-2008, 04:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I don't mind the apology..... $2.5M for a monument is utterly senseless.
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Old 05-21-2008, 10:07 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dr. J. Naismith View Post
A little too late if you ask me. I tend to agree with ACIE and that the money should be spent to more serious concerns here in Canada with health care & education being to top priority.
But it is a form of Education.

I like it.
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