Blacks in Canadian Human Rights and Equity History

Before human rights legislation, Canadian courts supported the right of businesses to refuse service to whomever they chose. Canadian laws did not protect individuals from discrimination.

The efforts of Black Canadians and allies from many communities led to anti-discrimination legislation in Ontario, which laid the foundation for human rights legislation in Ontario and across Canada. Today, these laws protect the rights of all Canadians, based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability and a number of other grounds.;xNLx;;xNLx;The courage and struggle of Black Canadians for human rights led to revolutionary change in the course of Canadian law and Canadian history, which is now embedded in the Canadian Constitution through the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Their pursuit of fair non-discriminatory policies has changed the face of Canada.;xNLx;;xNLx;Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights Commission

Eric Morgan is acquitted of 2006 murder -- sues Peel police

Eric Morgan is acquitted of a murder after spending three years in prison. He files a $25 million lawsuit against Peel Regional Police.

Jermain Carby shot and killed by Peel police

Jermaine Carby is a passenger in a car stopped by Peel police.

Racial Profiling

This short video explores racial profiling experiences of African Canadians.

Testers challenge government to uphold anti-discrimination laws

After the Fair Accommodation Practices Act is passed which prohibits discrimination in services, many Blacks and other people of colour find that they still are being denied service in restaurants, including Kay's Café in Dresden.

Christie v York Corporation [1940] 1 D.L.R. 81 (S.C.C.)

On July 11, 1936, Fred Christie and some friends visited the Montréal Forum's tavern after a Canadiens hockey game. Christie, a Black man, was refused service because of his race.

Ontario Racial Discrimination Act

This landmark legislation prohibits the publication or display of any notice, sign, symbol or emblem indicating ethnic, racial or religious discrimination.

King v Desmond [1947], 20 M.P.R. 297 (N.S.S.C.)

Viola Desmond is tried and convicted for tax evasion for sitting on the main floor "Whites only" section of the Roseland Theatre.

Leonard Austin Braithwaite (1923-2012)

World War II veteran. Lawyer. Politician.

Viola Davis Desmond (1914-1965)

Entrepreneur. Activist.

Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters

The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters was a labour union organized in the United States by African American employees of the Pullman Company in 1925. It was led by A. Philip Randolph and Milton P. Webster.

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