Black candidates turn up at ‘ meet and greet’ event at Jamaican Canadian Centre

By Lincoln DePradine

  More than 200 people  showed up at the Jamaican Canadian Centre last Friday evening to “meet, greet and support ” Black candidates in the June 7 provincial elections in Ontario.

Twenty-one candidates were invited to the event but just over a dozen were present. A few of them, including two government ministers, are seeking re-election.

The event which was organized by a coalition of community groups provided an opportunity for people in the Black community to meet many of the candidates ” in person,” said a  representative of one of the  groups.

“I thought that the meet and greet was a great idea,’’ said Dwayne Morgan, the New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate for Scarborough North.

Dwayne Morgan

“I don’t think that this many members from our community have ever had their names on the ballot in Ontario before. So, I hope that this helps to inspire people to get more involved,’’  he told The Caribbean Camera.

Morgan, 43, is a social justice advocate, spoken word artiste and published author, who has been inducted in the Scarborough Walk of Fame. It’s his first time seeking elected political office.

Of the 22 African Canadians running in the upcoming election, no fewer than 13  are NDP candidates and six are Liberals. There  is one Progressive Conservative candidate, one from the Green Party and one Independent.

Andrea Horwath’s NDP and the Doug Ford–led Progressive Conservative party are trying to unseat the Liberal Party, which has been in office for 15 years.

Liberal Party leader and Premier, Kathleen Wynne, succeeded Dalton McGuinty, who stepped down in 2013 after 10 years as head of the government of Ontario.

“There is diversity in thought in the Black community, and there are ways that each party might appeal to different members of the community,’’  said Morgan.

“I hope, those who  are not here tonight will ensure that their families and friends get out and vote, ’’ he added.