Statement on Emancipation Month
August 1, 2023
QUEEN'S PARK — Ontario Greens leader and MPP for Guelph Mike Schreiner released the following statement to mark the beginning of Emancipation Month.
“Emancipation Month is a time for healing, unification and restoration.
It’s a reminder of how far we’ve come since slavery was abolished in the British Empire on August 1, 1834.
But it’s also a reminder of how much work we have ahead of us to end systemic racism in Ontario and beyond.
We know that the intergenerational trauma of slavery and systemic racism persists today. It’s baked into our systems and institutions, from politics to education to housing and healthcare.
We must keep up the fight to end racial injustice by continuing to educate, organize and stand against racial discrimination everywhere.
I’m proud to have been one of the co-sponsors of Ontario’s Emancipation Month Act, which proclaims the month of August each year as Emancipation Month and was the first bill in Ontario history to be sponsored by all four parties in collaboration.
And I’d like to thank Dewitt Lee, founder of Emancipation Month Canada, who brought us the idea for this bill that has now become law.
So as we celebrate the freedom and strength of Black communities across Ontario and Canada, we must remember how much work we still have to do.
If we truly want to build a more equitable and caring province, country and world, we must invest in anti-racism strategies and initiatives across every level of society to reverse the damage of past and present injustices.”