Although slavery is long over with, discrimination and mistreatment have not disappeared for Black Canadians. Canada has come a long way to overcome racism and prejudice, there considerable work that needs to be done. This page explores the situation in Ontario, home three out of Black Canadian. In 2006 Blacks were of 3.9% of the provincial population and the third largest visible minority. Even though the Racial Discrimination Act was passed in Ontario in March 14th 1944, which prohibited the publication and display of any sign, symbol or notice that expressed racial, religious or ethnic discrimination, there has still been lots of public complaints and concerns about how racism is dealt with in Ontario. There was an incident in Dresden, Ontario in 1954, which was covered by the Toronto Telegram where two Black customers were refused service in two restaurants within the town. Sadly, racists attitudes are not a thing of the past. An article in the Toronto Sun states about the gun shootings in Toronto “As long as it’s just blacks killing each other, whites don’t pay much attention.”. According to Statistics Canada, Ontario has the highest proportion of reported hate-crimes in Canada, with 5.7 incidents per 100,000 population in 2010. In Ontario, Black Canadians reported the most hate-crimes with 271 incidents. So Black Ontarians were seven times more likely than the average to be the victim of a hate crime. Not only do Black Canadians report hate-crimes to the police, but they also feel discriminated by the police. An investigation conducted by The Toronto Star in 2010, revealed that Black people are three to five times more likely than white people to be stopped and questioned by the police. In one neighbourhood they were 17 times more likely. A study conducted by Howard Sapers has shown there is a sharp, 50% increase in Black people in prison, so that now 20% of Ontario’s prison population is Black. Discrimination is not just in the streets, it affects Blacks chances in job market as well. “Canada’s Colour Coded Labour Market”, a study conducted by Sheila Block and Grace-Edward Galabuzi for the Centre for Policy Alternatives, examined racialized and non-racialized groups in Canada. A racialized group is one that is treated as if they are different by society, In 2005 they found Blacks earned 75.6 cents for every dollar a non-racialized worker earns, for an annual earnings gap of $9,101. And that the unemployment rate was 73% higher for Blacks than for Whites. Black Canadians http://inequalitygaps.org/first-takes/racism-in-canada/prejudice-against-blacks-in-ontario/ February 1911: Anti-Black Campaign By 1909, hundreds of Oklahoma Blacks had moved to the Canadian Prairies, where they met the same wariness and discrimination that had allowed slavery to exist in an earlier time. In February 1911, a few newspapers in Winnipeg even predicted that the Dominion government would move to exclude "Negro immigrants." 1911: Oliver's Immigration Policy Alberta's Frank Oliver wanted tighter controls on immigration. He became the Liberal government's Minister of the Interior in 1905. Oliver was staunchly British, and his policies favoured nationality over occupation. By 1911, he was able to assert that his immigration policy was more "restrictive, exclusive and selective" than his predecessor's. http://blackhistorycanada.ca/images/1913_lrg.jpg http://blackhistorycanada.ca/images/1913_lrg.jpg Image: Harriet Tubman 10 March 1913: Heroine of the Underground Railroad Dies Harriet Tubman, ardent abolitionist and heroine of the Underground Railroad, died in New York in 1913. As a conductor with the Underground Railroad, she made 19 secret trips to the American South and guided more than 300 slaves to freedom in Canada. 5 July 1916: WWI All-Black Battalion In 1916, Canadian enlistment figures fell from 30,000 to 6,000 per month, while the year-end goal was a force of 500,000. When Reverend C.W. Washington of Edmonton offered to raise an all-Black battalion, military officials authorized the creation of the No. 2 Construction Battalion. The battalion served in France with the Canadian Forestry Corps. http://blackhistorycanada.ca/images/1916_lrg.jpg http://blackhistorycanada.ca/images/1916_lrg.jpg Image: A musical band from the No.2 Construction Battalion, c. 1917. 1914-1918: Black Canadians on the Home Front in WWI Between 1914 and 1918, Black Canadians at home became actively involved in the war effort. Black associations—on their own and in cooperation with White groups—raised funds, worked in factories and volunteered in hospitals and as labourers. 1939-1945: Blacks Accepted into Canadian Services in WWII Initially, the Canadian military rejected Black volunteers, but as the war continued, many Blacks were accepted into the Regular Army and officer corps. While there was still some segregation in the Canadian forces until the end of the war, hundreds of Black Canadians served alongside Whites in Canada and Europe. Image: Black Railway Porters in Montréal, Québec. Railway porters played an important role in the struggle for Black rights in Canada (courtesy Africville Genealogical Society). 1939-1945: Conditions on the Home Front in WWII Blacks at home assumed the responsibilities of the men and women serving overseas, working alongside Whites in jobs across the country. During World War II, hundreds of Black workers joined labour unions for the first time. The all-Black Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters was one of the greatest success stories of the war years. 14 March 1944: Ontario Passes Racial Discrimination Act Ontario was the first province to respond to social change when it passed the Racial Discrimination Act of 1944. This landmark legislation effectively prohibited the publication and display of any symbol, sign, or notice that expressed ethnic, racial, or religious discrimination. It was followed by other sweeping legislation. Image: Viola Desmond. 8 November 1946: Black Woman Sits in Theatre's "White Section" The Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NSAACP) united civil rights forces. The NSAACP supported Viola Desmond, a Black woman from Halifax, in her case against a New Glasgow theatre where she was arrested for sitting in the "White-only" section, even though she was willing to buy the more expensive ticket. 2-3 September 1954: Toronto Telegram Covers the Dresden Story. Black discrimination continued in the 1950s, despite legislation prohibiting it. In 1954, two Blacks visited rural Dresden, Ont. and were refused service in two restaurants. The Toronto Telegram sent Black "testers" to investigate, who were also refused. When the Telegram ran the story, it confirmed what many Blacks suspected, that Canada's laws and regulations were ineffective. Image: Ellen Fairclough, former Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (photograph by D. Cameron, courtesy Library and Archives Canada / PA-12 9254). 19 January 1962: Fairclough Dismantles Discriminatory Policy During her term as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Ellen Fairclough oversaw improvements to the Canadian Immigration Service, but her most significant accomplishment was the radical reform of the government's "White Canada" immigration policy. Regulations tabled in 1962 helped to eliminate racial discrimination in Canada's immigration policy. 25 September 1963: First Black Elected to a Canadian Parliament Leonard Braithwaite became the first African-Canadian in a provincial legislature when he was elected as the Liberal member for Etobicoke, Ontario in 1963. 1964 - 1970: Africville Demolished Encouraged by media attention to Africville's "American-style ghetto," the Halifax City Planning Commission expropriated the land. Residents resisted, citing the community's proud traditions, although Africville lacked basic services such as water, sewage, and good roads. Between 1964 and 1970, residents were relocated and the community razed. 11 August 1965: Klan Activity in Amherstburg In 1965, racial tension ran high in Amherstburg, Ont. A cross-burning set the tone; the Black Baptist Church was defaced and the town sign was spray-painted "Amherstburg Home of the KKK." Five days of racial incidents threatened to escalate but the situation was saved by an investigation by the Ontario Human Rights Commission. No arrests were made. Image: A performer at Toronto’s Caribana Festival (photograph by Jeffrey Gunawan). 28 July 1967: Toronto's Caribana Festival Founded Approximately two-thirds of Canada's West Indian population resides in the greater Toronto area. On 28 July 1967, ten Torontonians with a common West Indian heritage founded the Caribana cultural festival to display their rich cultural traditions. The Caribana festival continues to promote cultural pride, mutual respect and social unity. 18 September 1967: African-Canadian Wins Middleweight Championship. In 1967 David Downey won his first Canadian Middleweight Championship, which he retained until August 1970. Downey's boxing career coincided with one of the most dynamic periods in Halifax's history, which saw the emergence of the city's Black population as a social and political force. October 1967: Immigration "Points System" Prior to 1967, the immigration system relied largely on immigration officers' judgment to determine who should be eligible to enter Canada. Deputy Minister of Immigration Tom Kent established a points system, which assigned points in nine categories, to determine eligibility. Ethnic groups all across Canada endorsed the new selection process. October 1971: Trudeau Introduces Canada's Multicultural Policy Canada's multiculturalism policy grew partly in reaction to the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, which endorsed a "bicultural Canada," barely recognizing "other ethnic groups." This dilemma was partially resolved in 1971 by Prime Minister Trudeau's assertion that Canada was a "multicultural country with two official languages." 1971: African-Canadian Sprinter Receives Order of Canada In 1971, sprinter Harry Jerome was awarded the Order of Canada medal for "excellence in all fields of Canadian life." Jerome proudly represented Canada in three Olympic Games, winning bronze at Tokyo in 1964. 1974: West Indian Immigration Overwhelms Black Communities With the Immigration Act of 1962 and 1967 reforms, Black West Indians flocked to Canada. Indigenous Blacks and their established communities were overwhelmed by the influx and felt threatened by cultural differences. At first some thought skin colour was their only connection. In the early 1980s, Black Canadians of all backgrounds began uniting around common causes. Image: Dr. Wilson A. Head (courtesy Quebec English Schools Network). 1975: Head Founds Urban Alliance on Race Relations Black reformer Wilson Head brought a lifetime of experience in civil rights activism with him when he moved from the US to Canada in 1959. Among his numerous accomplishments was the creation, in 1975, of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations. The organization is still dedicated to fighting discrimination against all ethno-racial communities. 1984: Nova Scotian Civil Rights Advocate Awarded Order of Canada Dr. William Pearly Oliver and his wife Pearleen Borden Oliver helped unite the Black community in the 1940s and 1950s. William, founder of the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NSAACP), received the Order of Canada in 1984. Pearleen received an Honorary Doctorate from Saint Mary's University in 1990. Image: The Honourable Lincoln Alexander, the first Black Canadian to sit in the House of Commons and to hold the office of lieutenant-governor (courtesy Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario). 20 September 1985 Lincoln Alexander was born of West Indian immigrant parents. He was sworn in as Ontario's lieutenant-governor in September 1985, the first Black person to hold the vice-regal position in Canada. Alexander was also the first Black MP and federal Cabinet minister. 1991: Race Riot at NS High School Prompts Education Reform In 1991, at Cole Harbour District High School, a fight between one Black and one White student escalated into a brawl involving 50 youths of both races. The event mobilized provincial Black activists around the issue of unequal educational opportunities. Nova Scotia's Ministry of Education established a fund in 1995 to improve education and support anti-racist initiatives. 4 May 1992: The Yonge Street "Rebellion" A daytime demonstration against the acquittal of police officers in the Rodney King case in Los Angeles descended into a nighttime riot on Toronto's Yonge Street. Ignoring the historical context, the media decried the "America-style violence" of the young Black men. However, the riot prompted Canadians to address the root causes of Black frustration. 7 June 1993: Father Convicted for Hiring Hit Man to Kill Daughter's Black Fiancé Helen Mouskos, daughter of Greek immigrants, planned to marry Lawrence Martineau, son of Trinidadian immigrants. When her parents realized the couples' relationship, they protested. Helen's father, Andreas, was enraged and hired a hit man to kill Lawrence. The murder plot was discovered and Andreas was sentenced to five years in prison in June 1993. Image: Bissoondath asserted that Canada’s multiculturalism policy, whatever its intentions, was “a gentle and insidious form of cultural apartheid.” 1994: Bissoondath's Selling Illusions is Published Canada's multiculturalism policies came under attack by many authors who claimed that it had created a divided and fragmented society of hyphenated Canadians. The most powerful condemnation came from Neil Bissoondath, a Canadian novelist and immigrant from Trinidad who refused the "burden of hyphenation," which would label him "an East Indian-Trinidadian-Canadian." 6 August 1995: Canadian Sprinter Becomes "World's Fastest Human" In 1995, Oakville's Donovan Bailey assumed the title of "World's Fastest Human" by winning the 100-metre sprint at the World Track Championships at Göteborg, Sweden. Taking silver in the same race was Montreal's Bruny Surin. Bailey went on to win gold at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, setting a new world and Olympic record (9.84). Image: Author Austin Clarke, 1999 (courtesy Athabasca University, Centre for Language & Literature). 5 November 2002: Clarke Wins Giller Prize for Polished Hoe Austin Clarke, Canada's most widely-read Black novelist, won the Giller Prize for fiction in 2002 and the Regional Commonwealth Prize for best book in 2003 for his ninth novel The Polished Hoe. Clarke, who was born in Barbados, has sensitized generations of readers to the plight of West Indian immigrants. 4 August 2005: First Black Governor General Announced On 4 August 2005, Prime Minister Paul Martin announced the appointment of Haitian-born Michaëlle Jean as Governor General of Canada. Her dual French-Canadian citizenship and allegations of separatist connections generated controversy. Jean renounced her French citizenship before taking office and refuted a connection to the separatist movement. Image: The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, at her swearing-in ceremony on 27 September 2005 (courtesy CP Archives). 27 September 2005: Jean Sworn in as Governor General Michaëlle Jean was sworn in as Canada's first Black governor general. She emphasized freedom as a central part of the Canadian identity and has suggested that it was time to "eliminate the spectre" of the two solitudes, French and English, which has so long characterized the country's history. http://blackhistorycanada.ca/timeline.php?id=1900 Image: Antoine de Lamothe Cadillac. 1701: Slaves Put to Work at Cadillac's Fort Pontchartrain In 1701, the ambitious French fur-trader and colonizer Antoine de Lamothe Cadillac established Fort Pontchartrain on the shores of the Detroit River. Black slaves were among its first inhabitants. 1709: Louis XIV Formally Authorizes Slavery in New France King Louis XIV formally authorized slavery in 1709, when he permitted his Canadian subjects to own slaves, "in full proprietorship." There were fewer slave-owners in New France than in the neighbouring English colonies, and few French colonists openly questioned the long-standing practice. Image: Marie-Joseph Angélique set fire to her owner's house in order to cover her escape (courtesy Black Studies Centre, Montreal) Spring 1734: Angélique Tortured and Hanged Marie-Joseph Angélique allegedly set fire to her master's house and destroyed nearly 50 homes. She was tortured and hanged as an object lesson for all Blacks. 1760: Provisions for Preserving Slave Ownership in Articles of Capitulation When the British conquered New France in 1760, the Articles of Capitulation stated that Blacks and Pawnee Indians would remain slaves. 7 November 1775: Lord Dunmore's Declaration With armed rebellion inevitable, Virginia's Governor Lord Dunmore declared martial law in his colony and decreed that "every person capable of bearing arms" including "indentured servants, negroes, or others" must report for duty. More than 300 Black men joined the "Ethiopian Regiment." http://blackhistorycanada.ca/images/1776_lrg.jpg http://blackhistorycanada.ca/images/1776_lrg.jpg Image: After the War of 1812, over 500 Black people were settled at Hammonds Plains. This painting, c1835, shows a Black family on the Hammonds Plains Road, with Bedford Basin in the background.(watercolour by Robert Petley, courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-115424). 10 May 1776: Black Corps Formed Many Blacks actively participated in the American Revolutionary War, serving as boatmen, woodsmen, general labourers, buglers and musicians. General Henry Clinton formed a corps of free Blacks, called the Black Pioneers. 1776 : "Free Negroes" Reach Nova Scotia Canada developed a reputation as a safe haven for Blacks during the American Revolution, 1775-1783. The British promised land, freedom and rights to slaves and free Blacks in exchange for services rendered. Some of the Black Loyalists to reach Nova Scotia belonged to the "Company of Negroes," who left Boston with British troops. 30 June 1777: Clinton's Philipsburg Proclamation Sir Henry Clinton encouraged enslaved Blacks to desert rebel masters, promising them freedom and shelter. British Commander-in-Chief Sir Guy Carleton guaranteed that all slaves who formally requested British protection would be freed. An estimated 100, 000 Blacks fled to the British side during the American Revolution. October 1781: Loyalist Reverend John Stuart Brings Slaves to Québec Many Loyalists who settled in Upper Canada saw no conflict between the institution of slavery and their moral beliefs. The Reverend John Stuart of Kingston, the first minister of the Church of England in Upper Canada, recorded in his diary that he brought Black slaves with him from the Mohawk Valley. Image : An anonymous slave woman (courtesy Northwind Picture Archives). 1 July 1782: Enslaved Sylvia Defends Colonel Creighton When Lunenburg, Nova Scotia was invaded by American soldiers, Colonel John Creighton's servant Sylvia rose to his defense. Sylvia shuttled cartridges in her apron from Creighton's house to the fort where he and his soldiers were engaged in battle. She also protected the Colonel's son and valuables. Following the battle, Creighton was publicly recognized and rewarded for her heroism. 1784-1792: David George Baptist preacher David George was a Black Loyalist from Virginia. He settled in Shelburne, Nova Scotia in 1784 and began preaching in neighbouring Birchtown. His emotional sermons drew both Black and White Christians. Using only Black community funds, George founded several Black Baptist churches and initiated a "self-help" movement that still exists. Image: White soldiers drove the Blacks out of Shelburne. 26-27 July 1784: Canada's First Race-Riot Rocks Birchtown After the Revolutionary War, the "Black Pioneers" were among the first settlers in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. They helped build the new settlement. On its fringes they established their own community, "Birchtown." When hundreds of White, disbanded soldiers were forced to accept work at rates competitive with their Black neighbours the ensuing hostility caused a riot. http://blackhistorycanada.ca/images/1785_lrg.jpg http://blackhistorycanada.ca/images/1785_lrg.jpg Image: "Negro Frolicks" were banned in the town of Shelburne (artwork by Richard Bridgens 1836, courtesy Library of Congress). 12 May 1785: "Negro Frolicks" Prohibited Officials in Nova Scotia ordered "50 Handbills [to] be immediately printed forbidding Negro Dances and Negro Frolicks in [the] town of Shelburne." 13 July 1787: NorthWest Ordinance Passed In 1787, the new United States passed the NorthWest Ordinance, the first anti-slavery law in North America, which applied to its NorthWest Territory, where government authority was not clearly defined. The area was simultaneously "free" American territory and part of a larger, British "slave" province. 1790: Imperial Statute The Imperial Statute of 1790 effectively allowed settlers to bring enslaved persons to Upper Canada. Under the statute, the enslaved had only to be fed and clothed. Any child born of enslaved parents became free at age 25 and anyone who released someone from bondage had to ensure that he/she could be financially independent. Image: Slave auctioning continued in Canada even after the American War of Independence. July 1791: Slave Case Heard at NS Court Freedom for Black people was elusive, regardless of the promises made by the British at the end of the American War of Independence. Enslaved woman Mary Postell took her "owner," Jesse Gray, to court, twice for stealing her children. He was found not guilty, even though he had sold her and her daughter. 15 January 1792: The Black Loyalist Exodus The difficulty of supporting themselves in the face of widespread discrimination convinced many Black Loyalists that they would never find true freedom and equality in Nova Scotia. When offered the opportunity to leave the colony in the 1790s, almost 1200 Blacks left Halifax to relocate to Sierra Leone. Image: John Graves Simcoe, first lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada, helped to abolish slavery in Canada in 1793 (courtesy Metropolitan Toronto Library). 21 March 1793: The Cooley Case Upper Canadians were shocked when Chloë Cooley, an enslaved girl from Queenstown, was beaten and bound by her owner and sold to an American. Brought before Upper Canada's Executive Council 21 March 1793, English law made prosecution impossible. The incident convinced Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe that the abolition of slavery was necessary. 19 June 1793: Simcoe's Anti-Slave Trade Bill When Simcoe left England to take up his appointment as the first lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada, he pledged never to support discriminatory laws. On 19 June 1793, Attorney General White introduced Simcoe's anti-slavery measure and it passed, although it was not a total ban on slavery but a gradual prohibition. 1794: Black Loyalists Petition for All-Black Settlement in UC In 1794, based on their military service in the war between Great Britain and America, 19 free Blacks in the Niagara area petitioned Governor Simcoe for a grant of land to establish an all-Black settlement. The petition was rejected. In 1819 the government established Oro Settlement near Barrie. Image: Leonard Parkinson, a captain of the Maroons (courtesy Nova Scotia Archives/N-6202). 22 July 1796: The Maroons Land at Halifax On 22 July 1796, a group of 600 freedom-fighters landed at Halifax. These immigrants, called Maroons, came from the Jamaican community of escaped slaves, who had guarded their freedom for more than a century and fought off countless attempts to re-enslave them. 1799: Papineau Presents Citizens' Petition to Abolish Slavery in Lower Canada In 1799, Joseph Papineau (father of Louis-Joseph Papineau) presented a citizens' petition asking the government to abolish slavery, prompting a series of anti-slavery measures. While these bills were defeated, a movement towards the abolition of slavery was clearly under way in Lower Canada.