Stephen Harper to apologize for Air India tragedy

Report findings a “damning indictment” of the federal government, Harper says

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will publicly apologize to those who lost loved ones in the 1985 Air India bombing as part of a “very significant announcement” on Wednesday. Harper is expected to apologize for the series of federal failings during an evening memorial service at Humber Bay Park in Toronto marking the 25th anniversary of the tragedy. Harper’s apology will come just one week after a scathing 4,000-page report in which retired Supreme Court justice John Major chronicled officials’ incompetence when handling the tragedy. In 1985, federal agents botched an investigation into a Canadian cell of Sikh extremists who placed bombs on board two passenger jets that later exploded and killed 331 people. Major didn’t recommend an apology, but remarked that successive federal governments had failed to do so. Previous annual memorial gatherings have drawn smaller crowds, but the 25th anniversary of Canada’s worst terrorist attack is expected to draw hundreds of people to memorial services being held in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver.

Globe and Mail