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;

1851-06-01 00:00:00

Sir James Douglas

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

1859-06-01 00:00:00

Abraham Shadd

City Councillor, Raleigh, Ontario 1859

1866-06-01 00:00:00

Mifflin Wistar Gibbs

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

1880-09-03 16:16:01

Peter Butler III

Peter Butler III became a county police constable in 1880. The biggest case of his career was the Donnelly massacre in which five members of that family died. Peter then became an officer with the Ontario Provincial Police in 1913. He remained on the force well into his 70s. He was the first Black OPP officer.

1886-06-01 00:00:00

Burr Plato

City Councillor, Niagara Falls, Ontario 1886-1901

1894-06-01 00:00:00

William Peyton Hubbard

Alderman, Toronto, Ontario 1894-1914

1960-06-01 00:00:00

Leonard Braithwaite

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

1964-06-01 00:00:00

Dr. Saint-Firmin Monestime

Mayor, Mattawa, Ontario 1964-1977

1968-06-01 00:00:00

Lincoln Alexander

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

1972-06-01 00:00:00

Rosemary Brown

NDP MLA, British Columbia 1972-1986

1972-06-01 00:00:00

Emery Barnes

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

1975-06-01 00:00:00

Jean Alfred

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

1979-06-01 00:00:00

Dr. Howard McCurdy

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

1979-06-01 00:00:00

Wayne Adams

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

1984-06-01 00:00:00

Anne Cools

Senator, 1984 to present

1984-06-01 00:00:00

Daurene Lewis

Mayor, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia 1984-1988

1985-01-01 00:00:00

Bev Salmon

North York City (1985-1997)

1985-06-01 00:00:00

Alvin Curling

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

1990-06-01 00:00:00

Zanana Akande

NDP MPP, Ontario 1990-1994

1990-06-01 00:00:00

Donald Oliver

Senator 1990-2013

1992-06-01 00:00:00

George Rogers

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

1993-06-01 00:00:00

Jean Augustine

Liberal MP, Ontario 1993-2006

1997-06-01 00:00:00

Marlene Jennings

Liberal MP, Quebec 1997-2011

1998-06-01 00:00:00

Yvonne Atwell

NDP MLA, Nova Scotia 1998-1999

2004-06-01 00:00:00

Yolande James

Liberal MNA, Quebec 2004-2014

2005-06-01 00:00:00

Michaëlle Jean

24th Governor General of Canada 2005-2010

2006-06-01 00:00:00

Mayann Francis

31st Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia 2006-2012

2011-06-01 00:00:00

Michael Coteau

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

2014-02-01 00:00:00

Matthew Green

City Gouncillor, Hamilton, Ontario

2015-01-01 00:00:00

Ahmed Hussen

Liberal MP, Ontario, 2015

2015-01-01 00:00:00

Kuthula Matshazi

City Councillor, Iqaluit, Nunavut

Black Trailblazers in Canadian Political History

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