VIDEO: Trudeau touts multiculturalism, acknowledges ‘black mark in our history’ at Abbotsford temple

Prime minister speaks at national historic site on Friday afternoon

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau brought his “sunny ways” brand of politics to a sunlit Abbotsford podium Friday afternoon.

The prime minister is wrapping up a west coast tour that began in Seattle, where he met with Microsoft executives and Washington governor Jay Inslee, and made several stops in Metro Vancouver, including a fundraising dinner last night.

This morning he was in Cloverdale, where he visited the Don Christian Recreation Centre to discuss the federal Canada Child Benefit.

Trudeau gave a 10-minute speech at the Gur Sikh Temple after partaking in prayer and touring the national historic site.

“It’s a tremendous pleasure to be here at the Gur Sikh Temple in Abbotsford, which has been a pinnacle of this community for over a hundred years,” he said, addressing the crowd of more than 250 people gathered, including local MPs, mayors, councillors and leaders of faith communities.

In his speech, Trudeau extolled Canada’s strengths as a multicultural nation while also acknowledging its failures and missteps in its history, including the treatment of indigneous people.

The speech was given on the one-year anniversary of Trudeau’s apology in parliament for the Canadian government’s actions in the Komagata Maru incident, which he called a “blight on Canada’s mostly proud history.”

“The year was 1914 a steam ship sailed into Burrard Inlet in Vancouver. There were 376 people on board looking for hope, looking for opportunity. They caught a glimpse of the Canadian dream and we turned them away. Save for a few, the passengers were forced to turn around and go back to India. The consequences that awaited them there were tragic.”

Upon their return to India and docked at Budge Budge, a riot erupted as passengers resisted arrest by British police. Nineteen died and many more were arrested.

Trudeau called it a “black mark in our history books.”

The prime minister also spoke about 2017 being Canada’s 150th anniversary since confederation.

“In 150 this year, we are celebrating things like youth and environment,” he said. “We’re also celebrating diversity and we are also acknowledging the mistakes of the past and, as we talk about the Komagata Maru, so too must we speak of reconciliation with indigenous peoples, of understanding the mistakes that were made, the choices that were deliberately made to marginalize, to ignore, to break the bonds of respect that should have united us all.”

HAPPENING NOW: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaking in Abbotsford. SEE MORE: http://www.abbynews.com/news/justin-trudeau-coming-to-abbotsford/

Posted by AbbyNews on Friday, May 19, 2017


@KelvinGawley
kelvin.gawley@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits with the crowd during a visit to Abbotsford on Friday afternoon at the historic Gur Sikh Temple on South Fraser Way. (Photo by Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Just Posted

Mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

UFV wrestling program suspends operations

Team model scrapped, individual athletes will still be supported by the school

VIDEO: Iron Assassin’s Demolition Derby sets new Abbotsford Centre record

Debut event sells over 1,000 tickets at the door on Saturday

Crown seeking 30 months for Abbotsford vehicle theft, flight from police, Chilliwack crash

Michael Joseph Hasell has 47 criminal convictions on his record in B.C. and Alberta

Rainfall warning: Up to 70 mm expected across Fraser Valley

Environment Canada issued a weather warning heading into the long weekend

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Man driving wrong way on Highway 17 ‘seriously’ injured after crash: Surrey RCMP

Police say the driver hit a transport truck, then another car after merging from the off-ramp onto highway

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Rare ‘Snow Tower’ tree blooming in Vancouver city park

A plant rarely grown in Canada is now flowering at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Most Read