Every February we celebrate Black History Month, a time when we honour the significant contributions Black Canadians have made and continue to make in our country. This is another opportunity to appreciate, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau often says, that diversity is Canada’s strength.
This year’s theme is Canadians of African Descent: Going forward, guided by the past. It echoes the theme of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024): People of African descent: recognition, justice, and development.
Throughout our history, Black Canadians have worked hard to shape our society as leaders, educators, entrepreneurs, scientists, and much more. Last December was the 80th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision on Fred Christie v. York Corporation. This decision legalized racism, allowing freedom of commerce to prevail over racial equality. This anniversary is a stern reminder that Black Canadian communities have faced, and still face, many injustices and anti-Black racism.