Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the following statement today on the International Day of People of African Descent:
” In this International Day of People of African DescentLet’s celebrate the rich cultures and heritages of people of African descent and the many invaluable contributions they make to Canada and the world.
“The African diaspora helped shape Canadian history and continues to strengthen our communities from coast to coast. Today we honor pioneers of African descent, including retired judge Corrine Sparks, the first African woman from Nova Scotia to serve on the provincial bench, and the first African-Canadian woman to become a judge in Canada. His decision in R. v. S(RD) asked the Supreme Court of Canada to consider the reality of racism and anti-black hatred in Nova Scotia.
“Historical injustices, systemic racism and discrimination continue to impact people of African descent across generations. Correcting historical wrongs is an important step in creating a better future for all. For this reason, last July the Canadian government apologized to the members of the 2e Construction Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force for the racism and hatred against black people suffered before, during and well after World War I. We continue to learn from our past mistakes to ensure they never happen again.
“Today we also reaffirm our commitment to addressing the underlying inequalities faced by people of African descent in Canada today – including disproportionate health inequalities – as a result of systemic racism, discrimination and hatred towards black people.
“In 2018, Canada officially recognized the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent, which runs from 2015 to 2024 and focuses on the themes of recognition, equity and development. As part of our participation in the Decade, we have made targeted investments to strengthen Black Canadian communities, improve the well-being of Black Canadians across the country, and eliminate systemic barriers and racism in the workplace. While we have made progress towards a fairer and fairer society, much remains to be done. As part of the Canadian Anti-Racism Strategyand with the support of Federal Secretariat for Combating Racismwe will continue to work to identify and eliminate systemic racism and racial discrimination in Canada.
“Today I encourage all Canadians to educate themselves about the rich history and diverse cultures of people of African descent and the many and meaningful contributions they have made and continue to make to our national fabric. Together we can build a stronger, safer, more diverse and inclusive society for all. »
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