On the northern tip of Halifax sat Africville, a village founded by Black Loyalists, slaves freed after the War of 1812 and the American Revolutionary War. In 1960, in an egregious act of racism, Africville was abruptly erased from the map in the name of urban renewal. African Nova Scotians were evicted, and their homes were demolished.
While my city carries the shame for what happened to Africville, it was not an isolated incident in Canada, where racist policies, both implicit and explicit, have shaped the cities we live in today.
This Sunday, I joined hundreds of Haligonians on the reclaimed grounds of Africville for a protest by prayer. It was a stark reminder that the injustices we fight today are built on generations of discriminatory policies.
Today, I call on every member of this House to stand shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand, and together recommit ourselves to the work of naming and changing the ongoing trends of power and privilege that riddle our society and its institutions.
Thank you, Madam Chair.