Statement by the leader of the Official Opposition on Black History Month

The leader of the Official Opposition Tom Mulcair made the following statement on Black History Month:  

“On the dawn of this Black History Month, the NDP is proud to celebrate this community’s incredible contributions to Canadian society, along with its rich heritage.

“In 1605, Mathieu Da Costa became the first black man to set foot on Canadian soil. A polyglot and free man, he was the interpreter for explorer Samuel de Champlain.

“Nearly 350 years later, a Halifax businesswoman named Viola Desmond courageously condemned the discrimination and injustice of Nova Scotia’s segregation laws.

“Despite the many obstacles they faced, this community had the courage, strength and perseverance to rise up and fight for freedom, justice and equality. 

“We are proud to celebrate their achievements and contributions, and we are committed to fighting for a more just and prosperous country for all.”