February 1, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ottawa, ON – The Honourable Andrew Scheer, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives and of the Official Opposition, today issued the following statement to recognize Black History Month:
“This month, Canadians across the country will celebrate the achievements and contributions of black Canadians in creating stronger and more diverse Canadian communities.
“Great Canadians like Lincoln Alexander, John Ware, and Harry Jerome, overcame great prejudice and discrimination to follow their passions and serve their communities. Lincoln Alexander was the first black Member of Parliament, elected as a Conservative in 1968, and went on to become the first black Cabinet member in 1979, serving as Minister of Labour. After elected politics, he held the prominent positions of Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Chancellor of the University of Guelph, and as the first black Chair of the Worker’s Compensation Board. John Ware was born a slave in South Carolina, but following the American Civil War, was one of the leading figures in bringing the first cattle to Alberta and spearheading the ranching industry in the province. And track and field star Harry Jerome, who came from a family of Olympic athletes, proudly represented Canada in three Olympic Games and won a bronze medal in 1964. He set seven world records in various track events, and further served his community as a teacher in British Columbia. Each of these men became inspirations to Canadians of every heritage, that our country is one of freedom and opportunity for everyone.
“I also want to recognize the courageous black members of our Canadian Armed Forces who have so bravely fought for our freedoms as far back as the American Revolution and the War of 1812, all the way through to more recent conflicts such as in Afghanistan, as well as to those who continue to serve today. We thank you for your service and sacrifice.“On behalf of Canada’s Conservatives and the Official Opposition, I encourage all Canadians to join in recognizing and celebrating the achievements and contributions of black Canadians during this year’s Black History Month.”
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