OTTAWA – The Canadian Caucus of Black Parliamentarians met here this week for its third annual summit which ended on Tuesday.
According to a news release issued at the close of the summit, four key issues were discussed: the efforts to adopt the United Nations’ Decade for People of African Descent; the social justice and economic impacts of the proposed cannabis policy on Black communities across Canada; The need for more comprehensive disaggregated data at all levels of government; and the importance of seeking allies and intersectionalities in order to advance the interest of African-Caribbean communities in Canada.
Greg Fergus, M.P. for Hull-Aylmer and President of the federal Black Caucus, told the Caribbean Camera that he believes that the issue that will have the most effect will be the adoption of the United Nations Decade for People of African Descent.
” We are pretty sure that Parliament will adopt this in the Fall sitting and this will lead us to work on so many questions that affect the community such as social justice issues as well as economic and prosperity issues.”
Fergus said that the summit was “an opportunity to discuss and hear different political actors from the Canadian Black community speak about the issues they face.
” I look forward to work in advancing issues that matter the most to Black Canadians. ”
Michael Coteau, Ontario’sMinister of Children and Youth Services and Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism (Ontario) who was one of the provincial ministers who attended the summit, said it was ” a unique opportunity for Black leaders from across the country to gather and discuss priority issues, such as enhancing the health and education outcomes for Black Canadians, the administration of justice and racial bias.
” I look forward to building on the success of last year’s meeting, and to advancing issues that matter the most to Black Canadians. ”
Other parliamentarians present at the summit were Mitzie Hunter, Ontario’s Minister of Education, Tony Ince, Minister for Public Service Commission and African Nova Scotian Affairs. Emanuel Dubourg, MP for Bourassa, Frank Baylis, MP for Pierrefonds — Dollard, Marc Miller, MP for Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Sœurs, Celina Caesar-Chavannes, Member of Parliament for Whitby, Senator Anne Cools (Quebec), Senator Wanda Elaine Thomas Bernard () Senator Marie-Françoise Mégie and Granville Anderson, MPP for Durham.
The next summit of the Canadian Caucus of Black Parliamentarians will be held in Nova Scotia in 2018.