Canada will apologize for turning away ship of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazis

Canada will formally apologize for turning away a ship full of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany in 1939.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement during a well-received speech at a Jewish fundraising event in Toronto Tuesday night.

He says the decision by Canada to force the "MS St. Louis'' to return to Europe is a blight on our collective past.

In the run-up to the Second World War and the ensuing Holocaust, the Canadian government heeded anti-Semitic sentiment by severely restricting Jewish immigration.

From 1933 to 1945, only about five-thousand Jewish refugees were accepted due to the so-called "none is too many'' immigration policy in place at the time.

Trudeau called the turning away of the ship a "most egregious'' example of the misguided policy.

He says he looks forward to issuing a formal apology in the House of Commons, but he did not provide a date.