No More Apologies !!


Once again, Canadians have heard our federal government apologizing—this time to the families of victims of the bombing in 1985 of an Air India flight from Toronto to India. The bombing killed about 330 people and was the largest mass murder in Canada’s history.

Many Canadians think that our PM should never have made that apology. Here are three reasons why.

(1) Canada did not build the bomb and did not put it on the plane. Before even thinking about an apology, the Prime Minister should have asked one basic question : Who did? The blunt answer is that the culprits were a group of Sikhs, not Canada or its mainstream population. The other party involved, the East Indian families of the victims, claims that Canada is responsible because Canadian government agencies, the RCMP and CSIS, could have prevented the disaster. Judge John Major, who investigated the Air India incident, did say that the RCMP and Canada’s spy agency had squabbled and destroyed evidence which might have led to a conviction of the bombers. But the key point is that neither the RCMP nor CSIS built the bomb and neither intimidated airline employees in Vancouver to accept the suitcase in which the bomb was concealed. Even if the RCMP and CSIS had done a thorough job, there is no guarantee that they would have been able to stop the bombers. What would Canada be hearing in that case? More of the same? In listening to Canada’s Prime Minister make an apology, many Canadians got the impression that mainstream Canada had to bear guilt for the incident. However, the bombing and the effort to convict the bombers are two separate matters. The main point is that neither mainstream Canada nor its agencies built the bomb and put it on the plane.

(2) Canada cannot and should not assume responsibility for inter-ethnic conflicts that immigrants bring to Canada. The two ethnic groups involved in this conflict were the Sikhs and other East Indians. In the year before the bombing in June, 1985, Indian troops had attacked the Sikhs’ Golden Temple in the Punjab to suppress a separatist Sikh movement. About 1000 Sikhs were killed in that fight. Soon afterward, the Sikhs sought revenge in India and assassinated Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for ordering the attack on the temple. A bloodbath followed in which many Sikhs were killed. Those three incidents were much more important than the conflict that occurred between the RCMP and CSIS. Instead of issuing an apology, which has all the odour of an attempt to get votes, why did our government not seize the occasion to demand that inter-ethnic conflicts in India and elsewhere have to be left in those places? Why did he not seize the opportunity to announce that Canada would take measures in its current immigration policies to deny entry to ethnic groups which may well commit similar atrocities in the near future? The probability that an atrocity will occur becomes stronger every year. This is a “bomb” that will have much larger consequences than the one that was put on the Air India plane. If Canada was to make any pronouncement on the Air India issue, why did it not demand that the Sikhs admit complicity of part of their group in the bombing? The other East Indian group may not like to publicly admit that they probably sympathized with the Indian government’s attack on the Golden Temple and with those involved in the bloodbath against the Sikhs. But these things are quite likely true. No one is saying that the murder of the 330 people was not a tragedy, but why did Canada not demand that other East Indians in Canada admit that they too shared some guilt in the bombing? Many Canadians think that the PM and the judge who investigated the incident should have pointed their fingers firmly at these two groups who were at the root of the problem.

(3) In Canada’s past, immigrant groups have often used complaints about alleged injustices to demand that Canada increase immigration from their groups. The Chinese have done this for the alleged injustice of the Chinese Head Tax. However, like other ethnic groups, the Chinese fail to acknowledge their own guilt. For example, their own labour contractors brought Chinese labourers to Canada, paid them little, and obtained labour contracts by underbidding other contractors. Although the Japanese have not been involved in recent immigration as much as the Chinese, Japanese labour contractors did the same thing. In fact, Japanese labour contractors, like the Chinese ones, not only caused displacement of Canadian workers, but also were the root cause of the notorious Vancouver Riot in 1907 which has long been incorrectly paraded as a race-based act. The alleged injustices of 100 years ago were largely economic issues which caused great tension between Canada’s mainstream population and these people. Sikh contractors were also involved in the labour contractor issue, although to a lesser extent. However, the Komagata Maru, which carried mostly Sikhs, arrived around the time of these other incidents and has to be put into the cheap labour context. To mainstream Canada, its arrival was an indication of ongoing government inability to stop a cheap labour inflow into Canada. Ethnic groups such as the Chinese and Sikhs have somehow twisted those events into a racial issue and demanded that Canada compensate by allowing more immigration from their groups. The race card is again being played in the Air India incident and events are again being twisted, in this case to blame mainstream Canada for mass murder. The process of using the PM’s apology to push for high immigration has already started. By making an apology, Canada’s PM has once again played into the hands of ethnic groups. Canada has to oppose this absolute nonsense and the subsequent outrageous demands for more immigration that Canada does not need from India and other places.

Canada has had it with apologies. In fact, it would be a good idea to reverse the apologies already made, particularly the most recent one. And it would be an equally good idea to acknowledge the connection between apologies and immigration. This nonsense has to end once and for all.