QUEEN’S PARK – Leaders Ledger – February is Black History Month. In Ontario, we commemorate the history of black Canadians and pay tribute to the many people who have helped – and continue to help – pave the way to a more open, tolerant and accepting society.
Through multiple waves of migration, Ontario has become home to many generations who have helped shape our province and create a strong community of black Canadians.
During the War of 1812, many fought as Loyalists, defending Upper Canada. In the 1950s, leaders like civil rights activist Bromley Armstrong worked with Premier Leslie Frost’s Progressive Conservative government to pass the Fair Employment Practices Act and the Fair Accommodation Practices Act – outlawing discrimination in the workplace and in businesses.
Last October, our province lost one of our greatest leaders: Mr. Lincoln Alexander. He was the first black Canadian to become a Member of Parliament, the Minister of Labour and then the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. In recognition of his contributions to the community, he was named the ‘Greatest Hamiltonian of All Time.’
A determined, articulate and highly intelligent man well known for his wit, Mr. Alexander was an inspiring example to all Ontarians of what we can achieve. And every day, black Canadians carry the torch – inspiring others and shaping our province – from the leaders who teach our students to those who run businesses and create jobs.
So, as we remember the history of our province’s black Canadians, let’s look forward to the many more great achievements that will take place in the years to come.
Black History Month Links
To learn more, visit the Government of Canada’s website Canadian Black History: an Interactive Experience.