Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize February as Black History Month.
The celebration of Black History Month is a focal point of pride for black Canadians whose presence in Canada can be traced to at least 1605 when Mattieu Da Costa accompanied Samuel de Champlain as an interpreter to Nova Scotia.
Since that time, politicians, writers, artists, educators, historians and many others have added to the social, cultural and economic fabric of Canadian life.
This is most definitely the case in Nova Scotia where there are many prominent citizens of Afro-Canadian origin whose work affects many Nova Scotians and Canadians. Wayne Adams, Nova Scotia's first Afro-Canadian MLA and cabinet minister, Maxine Tynes, prominent poet and writer, Joan Jones, a recent recipient of the Pearson Award, Dr. Carey Best and Slyvia and Marie Hamilton are just a few Nova Scotians of African origin whose contributions have been recognized by their peers.
Black History Month pays homage to the essential contribution of black people and their collective history to the fabric of Canadian life. Let us pay tribute to this vital part of Canadian heritage, not only during February but throughout the year.