OTTAWA, January 30, 2018—On the eve of Black History Month 2018, the Federation of Black Canadians (FBC) welcomes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s endorsement of the United Nations’ sanctioned, International Decade for People of African Descent. Launched in December 2017, the Federation works alongside Black organizations across Canada to advance various issues facing Canadians of African descent.
During a historic ceremony, which took place today on Parliament Hill, Mr. Trudeau announced the Canadian government’s commitment to upholding the principles enshrined in the International Decade and to advancing the human rights and freedoms of Canadians of African descent. In his remarks, the Prime Minister pledged to remove systemic biases in the corrections system, address mental health, and collect disaggregated statistical data, as a first step, towards developing more effective and efficient government policies, legislation and actions to prevent, combat and eradicate anti-Black racism in Canada.
“The Prime Minister’s personal endorsement of the UN Decade represents a new chapter in over 400 hundred years of Black history on Turtle Island. It signals a federal government-wide recognition that Canadians of African descent constitute a distinct group whose rights and wellbeing require more robust action on the part of the government of Canada,” said Justice Donald McLeod, Chair of the Federation of Black Canadians. “This augurs well given the Federation of Black Canadians will convene a national Lobby Day on Parliament Hill, on Feb. 12, 2018, where Black leaders from across the country will meet with legislators to scale-up government support for community-driven actions to remove racial barriers and improve social and economic outcomes for Canadians of African descent.”
The Prime Minister’s announcement comes on the heels of the National Black Canadians Summit, which gathered 800 Black community leaders and stakeholders to mark the UN Decade. Organized by the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, the Federation of Black Canadians and the Toronto Public Library, the event produced a strategic action plan, to be released in March, outlining the ways in which community groups across the country will advance the aims of the International Decade, in areas such as: wealth creation, mental health, migration and refugees, criminal justice, education, media representation, arts and affordable housing. It draws from several years of community consultation, including work FBC accomplished with Black leaders across Canada to establish the rationale for the priorities raised in the Prime Minister’s remarks.
About the Federation of Black Canadians
The Federation of Black Canadians (FBC) is a national, non-profit organization, driven by Black organizations across the country. The nonprofit advances the social, economic, political and cultural interests of Canadians of African descent. FBC is a national organization that partners with Black communities, organizations and people in 13 provinces and territories across Canada. It advocates with them to governments, parliaments, multilateral organizations, businesses and faith-driven organizations. The FBC is politically non-partisan.
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For more information, please contact:
Dahabo Ahmed Omer
Communications Lead (Ottawa)
Federation of Black Canadians