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

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