Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Black History Month. It has been more than 20 years since the Parliament of Canada proclaimed February to celebrate the many men and women of African and Caribbean descent who helped shape the social, cultural, and economic fabric of our country.
I would like to acknowledge one organization in my riding, the Vaughan African Canadian Association, which provides innovative programs and services for African Caribbean Canadians in York Region. Under the leadership of executive director Shernett Martin, who was named one of 100 accomplished black Canadian women, the association is helping to raise awareness of the significant contributions of the black community. VACA was founded with the common goal of giving back and working to provide a better future for youth.
During February and beyond, I encourage all members and Canadians to celebrate black history. Diversity is our strength.