Black Trailblazers in Canadian Political History

I often walk in the grand hallways of Queen's Park and think about those who served before me. Our history is emboldened by men and women of African descent who paved the way for future generations of leadership in the Legislative Assembly.;xNLx;;xNLx;I am frequently drawn to the east wing of the building. In a lonely corner there is a framed image of the elected members in 1963. Among the many faces in this frame, a picture of Leonard Braithwaite, the first Black Member of Provincial Parliament stands out. I think of his days at Queen`s Park and the considerable challenges he surely faced. I compare his undertaking to the job of the one who clears the path before other travelers to ensure their safe journey. I am thankful for his pioneering efforts, and to those who continue to travel the path and encourage others to use it.;xNLx;;xNLx;Our history is strong because of people like Mary Anne Chambers, who has dedicated her life to enabling others. And it is proud because of Alvin Curling, who treaded into new territory, becoming the first Black Minister of the Crown and Speaker of the House in Ontario. This enduring legacy is burnished by the work of contemporaries like my friend Mitzie Hunter, who is helping pave the way towards a new generation of leadership in Ontario.;xNLx;;xNLx;Together, we celebrate the memory and legacies of all of the prominent African Canadian figures in this timeline and beyond for their extraordinary contributions to our social, economic and cultural fabric. Their courageous efforts have helped make Canada a better place.;xNLx;;xNLx;Michael Coteau, MPP;xNLx;2014;xNLx;;xNLx;

Matthew Green

City Gouncillor, Hamilton, Ontario

Ahmed Hussen

Liberal MP, Ontario, 2015

Kuthula Matshazi

City Councillor, Iqaluit, Nunavut

Sir James Douglas

Governor, Colony of Vancouver Island 1851-1864; Governor, Colony of British Columbia 1858-1864

Mifflin Wistar Gibbs

City Councillor, Victoria, B.C. 1866-1869

Abraham Shadd

City Councillor, Raleigh, Ontario 1859

Anne Cools

Senator, 1984 to present

Dr. Howard McCurdy

Alderman, Windsor, Ontario 1979-1984; NDP MP, Ontario 1984-1993

Burr Plato

City Councillor, Niagara Falls, Ontario 1886-1901

William Peyton Hubbard

Alderman, Toronto, Ontario 1894-1914

Leonard Braithwaite

Trustee, Etobicoke Board of Education, Ontario 1960-1962; Alderman, Etobicoke, Ontario 1962; Liberal MPP, Ontario 1963-1972; City Councillor, Etobicoke, Ontario 1982

Dr. Saint-Firmin Monestime

Mayor, Mattawa, Ontario 1964-1977

Lincoln Alexander

Progressive Conservative MP, Ontario 1968–1980; 24th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario 1985-1991

Rosemary Brown

NDP MLA, British Columbia 1972-1986

Emery Barnes

NDP MLA, British Columbia 1972-1996; Speaker 1994-1996

Jean Alfred

City Councillor, Gatineau, Quebec 1975; Parti Quebecois MNA, Quebec 1976-1980

Wayne Adams

City Councillor, Halifax, Nova Scotia 1979 - 1993; Liberal House of Assembly, Nova Scotia 1993-1998

Daurene Lewis

Mayor, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia 1984-1988

Alvin Curling

Liberal MPP, Ontario 1985-2005; Speaker 2003-2005

Zanana Akande

NDP MPP, Ontario 1990-1994

Donald Oliver

Senator 1990-2013

George Rogers

City Councillor, Leduc, Alberta 1992-1998; Mayor, Leduc, Alberta 1998-2004; Progressive Conservative MLA, Alberta 2004-present

Jean Augustine

Liberal MP, Ontario 1993-2006

Marlene Jennings

Liberal MP, Quebec 1997-2011

Yvonne Atwell

NDP MLA, Nova Scotia 1998-1999

Yolande James

Liberal MNA, Quebec 2004-2014

Michaëlle Jean

24th Governor General of Canada 2005-2010

Mayann Francis

31st Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia 2006-2012

Michael Coteau

School Trustee, Toronto 2003-2011; Liberal MP, Ontario 2011 to present

Bev Salmon

North York City (1985-1997)

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