Mr. Speaker, every February, Black History Month gives Canadians an opportunity to celebrate the heritage and contributions of the black community. Today, I would like to acknowledge some extraordinary black women who have helped create a diverse and inclusive Canadian society.
Jean Augustine, the first black female member of Parliament, was elected in 1993. Ms. Augustine was a passionate advocate for social justice. It was her motion, unanimously adopted in 1995, that led the federal government to create Black History Month.
Rosemary Brown was the first black woman to be elected to a provincial legislature and became the first woman to run for the leadership of a federal party in 1975. Ms. Brown fought hard against racism and sexism and worked to improve services for immigrants, persons with disabilities, seniors and marginalized groups.
I thank these black women, who, along with many others, paved the way for women in politics.