Celebrating Black History Month – This February, 2018 – Across Ontario and Canada

Statements from Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario’s NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted February 2nd, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Ottawa, Ontario – The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Black History Month:

“Today we begin Black History Month, a time to honour and celebrate the many achievements and contributions that Black Canadians have made to our country.

“The theme for this year’s Black History Month is ‘Black Canadian Women: Stories of Strength, Courage and Vision’. Jean Augustine, Viola Desmond, Michaëlle Jean, Jully Black, Afua Cooper – these are just a few women of African descent who have shaped Canada into the country it is today. Yet all too often their stories go untold.

“Earlier this week, the Government of Canada announced that Canada will officially recognize the UN International Decade for People of African Descent. This International Decade, which spans from 2015 to 2024, is an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the important contributions that Black Canadians have made to Canadian society.

“The International Decade also offers a framework to better address the very real and unique challenges that Black Canadians face. By working together, we can combat anti-black racism and discrimination, and deliver better outcomes for Black Canadians.

“This month, I invite all Canadians to take part in community events for Black History Month, and learn more about the vital role that Black Canadians have played – and continue to play – in shaping the diverse, compassionate, and prosperous country we know today.”

A historic plant located near the shores of Lake Erie in Fort Erie, Ontario where at Erie Beach Hotel in 1905, members of the American black community crossed from Buffalo and held one of the founding meetings of the NAACP, one of the continent’s most important civil rights organizations for more than a century now. File photo taken by Doug Draper

Andrea Horwath  marks Black History Month

Queen’s Park, Toronto  – Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following statement marking the first day of Black History Month:

“Today marks the beginning of Black History Month in Ontario. Throughout the month, Ontarians will come together and celebrate the important role the Black community has played in the history of our province and our country.

We learn about and celebrate black heroes – like anti-slavery pioneer Mary Ann Shadd Cary, and civil rights leader Leonard Braithwaite. We celebrate trailblazers like Zanana Akande, the NDP MPP who was the first black woman to become a cabinet minister in Canada. We celebrate contemporary cultural icons like Dionne Brand.

Black Canadians have led the fight for human rights and respect, and the black community has achieved so much, despite generations of discrimination.

This Black History Month, we’ll learn and we’ll celebrate – but let’s also renew our commitment to keep working to tackle the anti-Black racism that remains a reality in Ontario today.”

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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie





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