OTTAWA – A government apology for past state-sanctioned discrimination against LGBTQ people is the latest in a string of Canadian mea culpas going back almost 40 years. Here is a list of those apologies.
1988: Then-prime minister Brian Mulroney apologizes in the House of Commons for the internment of Japanese-Canadians during the Second World War.
2001: Ron Duhamel, then the minister of veterans affairs, apologizes in the House of Commons for the executions of 23 Canadian soldiers during the First World War and says their names will be added to the country’s book of remembrance.
2006: Then-prime minister Stephen Harper apologizes in the House of Commons for the head tax imposed on Chinese immigrants between 1885 and 1923.
2008: Harper apologizes in the House of Commons for Canada’s residential schools system, which more than 150,000 First Nations, Metis and Inuit children attended from the 1840s to 1996.
2016: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologizes in the House of Commons for the Komagata Maru incident, in which a shipload of immigrants from India was turned away from Vancouver in 1914.
Quote: “I do not think it is the purpose of a government to right the past. It cannot rewrite history.” Former prime minister Pierre Trudeau in 1984, rejecting a proposal from Mulroney about an apology for Japanese-Canadians.