The National Apology Advisory Committee

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks through a countrywide apology to the No. 2 Development Battalion in Truro, Nova Scotia, July 9.


Riley Smith/Related Push


We Canadians have a track record for apologizing a ton, and I’m not ashamed to confess there is reality to the stereotype. Last 12 months the government even impaneled a National Apology Advisory Committee.

A March press release from the Canadian Armed Forces noted the committee “was founded in June 2021 as a consulting arm to the Government of Canada in the shaping of the upcoming official apology” to the all-black No. 2 Building Battalion. The Canadian military elevated No. 2 in Nova Scotia in the course of Globe War I. Its members, barred from battle support on account of their race, had been assigned to aid develop roads, distinct trees and manage railway tracks—duties they done with bravery and honor.

Key Minister

Justin Trudeau

delivered the formal apology July 9: “For the blatant antiblack dislike and systemic racism that denied these adult males dignity in daily life and in loss of life, we are sorry.”

Plans for the apology got shockingly minor awareness. A couple article content on the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. website were buried less than Nova Scotia information. I uncovered about it only previous month when a reader alerted me to a June 23 tweet from National Defense Minister

Anita Anand,

who had “met with the co-chairs of the Nationwide Apology Advisory Committee.”

Perhaps the reduced profile was mainly because Canada had already designed some formal amends. The Ontario Legislature focused a plaque to the battalion in 1920, and the nationwide federal government declared its formation a national historic occasion in 1992. Or perhaps it was for the reason that Mr. Trudeau has weakened the currency of national apologies by issuing so many of them.

This checklist is not extensive: He apologized for the 1914 Komagata Maru incident, in which a ship of primarily Sikhs was turned away and despatched back again to India. He apologized for turning away the MS St. Louis in 1939, dooming hundreds of Jewish refugees, soon after Cuba and the U.S. also refused entry. He apologized to Italian-Canadians for their Planet War II internment. He has made quite a few apologies to Indigenous Canadians. He apologized to “LGBTQ2 communities”—the numeral stands for “two-spirit identities”—for past discrimination. In June 2020 he took a knee at a Black Lives Make a difference demonstration in Ottawa.

His acknowledgments of his have faults have a tendency to be much more grudging. He explained he “deeply, deeply” regretted three cases of putting on blackface as a university student and a young teacher and “made a mistake” when he elbowed a feminine member of Parliament during a 2016 vote. He also identified as it a “mistake” to consider a surfing holiday in British Columbia previous September rather of attending a ceremony for the to start with Nationwide Working day of Truth and Reconciliation, a statutory getaway for Indigenous victims of residential educational institutions. He did say he was “sorry” for an ethics violation right after a family members vacation to the

Aga Khan’s

personal island.

As for the Nationwide Apology Advisory Committee, “this is only for the concern at hand,” a National Defense Section spokesman instructed the Nationwide Article. “It’s not for all apologies.” Possibly it need to be.

Mr. Taube, a columnist with Troy Media and Loonie Politics, was a speechwriter for previous Canadian Key Minister

Stephen Harper.

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Appeared in the July 13, 2022, print edition.

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