Martin Luther King Jr. Day or MLK Day as it is also called, which falls on the third Monday in January, is a Federal holiday in the United States. Although it is not a holiday in Canada, the Black leader is remembered on MLK Day by many Canadians at various events in his honour.
The following are brief excerpts from messages from Toronto Mayor John Tory and Michael Coteau, Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism, on MJK Day 2018
Toronto Mayor John Tory
“Martin Luther King Jr. Day provides an opportunity to learn about and be inspired by the history, pride and strength of Martin Luther King Jr. and his leadership. He was one of the greatest champions of racial justice and equality. Toronto is one of the world’s most multicultural cities and home to people from all over the world where we respect, accept and celebrate our differences. Creating genuine and lasting inclusivity remains a challenge but must be our goal as a city. Martin Luther King Jr. Day brings communities across Toronto together and reminds us that we must cherish our values and work to reinforce them.”
In the most diverse city in the world we actually agree on one very important thing: we all want things to be better for the next generation — for every kid, regardless of skin colour or nationality or religious faith. That is what Martin Luther King devoted his life to but neither he nor his memory can accomplish this alone. He told us we can all fight hatred and discrimination, we can all love, we can all serve so that kids can dream big.”
Michael Coteau, Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism in the Ontario government
“Martin Luther King Jr. was a young man when he carried the moral weight of the world. The civil rights activist was only in his early thirties when, in 1963, he delivered one of the most powerful and impactful speeches that resonates even today: “I have a dream.”
King persevered with strength and determination to bring a message of hope, love and unity to everyone. King paid the price for his great accomplishments — a price we will not soon forget.
If I have one message to deliver on MLK Day, Jan 15, it is this: let Martin Luther King’s courage, his compassion and his vision for a better world live on through the work you do, every day, to help build a more just and equitable Ontario. His efforts towards justice recognized that, beyond all barriers, there is a common thread of humanity that will always connect us. ”