Black History Month

Members' Statements

Monday, February 1, 2016

Mr. David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, today marks the beginning of Black History Month, and I am honoured to rise in this House to celebrate the many contributions that Canadians of African and Caribbean descent have made to our great country.

In my home town of Hamilton, the history of these distinguished Canadians runs deep. The Reverend John C. Holland, the son of runaway slaves, was one of Hamilton's most important leaders and the pastor of Stuart Memorial Church, which has its own significant history as part of the underground railway.

The Hon. Lincoln Alexander was Canada's first black member of Parliament, first black cabinet minister and first black Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

The legacy of these two outstanding Hamiltonians continues today through the work of people like Evelyn Myrie, a driving force in building inclusivity in Hamilton, and Matthew Green, who became Hamilton's first black city councillor in 2014.

I encourage everyone to take the time to learn the stories of the many people in Hamilton and all across Canada who played an important role in our history and continue to work to create a more inclusive and a more equal Canada.