Mr. Speaker, just over a month ago, Canada lost a great patriot. Mr. Leonard Braithwaite, Canada's first black parliamentarian, died at 88 years of age.
First elected to the Ontario legislature in 1963, Mr. Braithwaite pushed to end the segregation of black children in Ontario schools, which then education minister, Bill Davis, acted upon. Later he became the first black bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada and was appointed both to the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada.
Born to West Indian parents and raised in Toronto, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1943 serving with No. 6 Bomber Command in Yorkshire, England during World War II. After the war, he returned to Canada and graduated from the University of Toronto, Harvard Business School and Osgoode Hall Law School.
Mr. Braithwaite was a great Canadian who blazed a trail for future generations. He leaves behind a remarkable legacy for his home province and for Canada.