Mr. Speaker, as we all know, February was Black History Month. The theme for this year was “February and Forever: Celebrating Black History today and every day”. Even if February is over, all year long we must continue to learn, recognize and celebrate Black history and Black Canadians in our communities and support Black-led organizations and businesses. Equally, we must take actions in our everyday lives and commit to actively being anti-racist in the fight against systemic anti-Black racism.
In the spirit of celebration, I want to celebrate and acknowledge some of the organizations doing crucial work in our community such as Black Lives Matter Fredericton, the New Brunswick African Association and the New Brunswick Black Artists Alliance. I want to highlight the initiative of the University of New Brunswick that put up banners in downtown Fredericton to honour Black New Brunswickers including Anna Minerva Henderson, a civil servant and poet who was the first Black federal employee of Canada. We have a duty to remember those who paved the way and transformed our society.
Finally, in honouring the global fight against systemic racism, I want to conclude by saying that we cannot close our eyes and we must denounce the reports that citizens from African countries have been mistreated, dehumanized and even stopped at neighbouring country borders while seeking safety trying to flee war-torn Ukraine. The hatred must stop here and everywhere. It is my hope that all members in the House will join me in supporting the successes of Black Canadians and condemn all forms of anti-Black racism.