He said lawmakers at the time used Canadian laws to mask antisemitism.
"We 900 immigrants looking for safe haven were denied that and fortunately there are countries such as Canada who are willing to take those truly looking for safe haven and looking for a place to reside without being persecuted", Wiener said.
"We are sorry for the callousness of Canada's response", he said.
Sean Kilpatrick/CP Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with Ana Maria Gordon, the only surviving Canadian passenger of the MS St. Louis in his office on November 7, 2018.
The prime minister also pledged to do more to combat anti-Semitism, noting that Jewish Canadians are "feeling vulnerable" after a mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, left 11 people dead.More news: Tamera Mowry-Housley Searches For Niece Missing In Thousand Oaks Shooting
The ensuing days have seen countrywide vigils and calls for the government do to more through a federal program that funds security improvements at places at risk of hate-motivated crimes, such as synagogues.
Trudeau said Holocaust deniers still exist and anti-Semitism remains prevalent in Canada - the latest numbers from Statistics Canada show Jews are the most frequent target of religiously motivated hate crimes - and North America, shadowed by the shooting deaths of 11 worshippers inside a Pittsburgh synagogue nearly two weeks ago. "These tragic events ultimately attest to the work we still have to do".
"For me, it was so important not only to recognize the wrongs that a previous government had committed with regards the MS St. Louis, but to recognize that in today's day, we do not accept that kind of discrimination, we do not accept that intolerance and we do not accept that persecution".
When Cuba, the United States and Canada turned the ship away, it returned to Europe where several countries took the refugees in and, according to historians and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), 255 of them were later killed in World War II, majority in concentration camps.
Louis returned to Germany and the passengers scattered in Europe.More news: These Are The Victims Of The Thousand Oaks Shooting
"By issuing this apology, it is my honest hope that we can shine a light on this painful chapter of our history and ensure that its lessons are never forgotten". The Twitter account was a protest against President Donald Trump's travel ban, which targeted refugees.
The head of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, Avi Benlolo, said it is up to governments to "take serious measures that help counter hate crimes against minority groups". Critics say the figures are far too low while debate rages about "irregular" border crossers walking over from the United States.
Earlier, Trudeau met with Ana Maria Gordon, the only surviving Canadian passenger from the ship, and her family members, and spoke about the need to fight anti-Semitism.
"We all must, as individuals, communities and as a nation, help these people in every way we can", she said.More news: CNN journalist Jim Acosta’s White House access revoked after spat with Trump