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(as introduced)

3rd Session, 63rd General Assembly
Nova Scotia
70 Elizabeth II, 2021


Private Member's Bill


Emancipation Day Act


Susan Leblanc
Dartmouth North

First Reading: March 24, 2021

Second Reading:

Third Reading:


An Act Proclaiming Emancipation Day

WHEREAS the British Parliament abolished slavery in the British Empire as of August 1, 1834, by enacting Chapter 73 of the Acts of 3 & 4 William IV, An Act for the Abolition of Slavery Throughout the British Colonies; for promoting the Industry of the manumitted Slaves; and for compensating the Persons hitherto entitled to the Services of such Slaves (U.K.), on August 28, 1833;

AND WHEREAS the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed by resolution 68/237, on December 23, 2013, the International Decade for People of African Descent, commencing on January 1, 2015, and ending on December 31, 2024;

AND WHEREAS the Government of Canada announced on January 30, 2018, that it would officially recognize the International Decade for People of African Descent;

AND WHEREAS the International Decade for People of African Descent provides a unique opportunity to highlight the important contributions that people of African descent have made to Canadian society, and also provides a platform for engaging in the fight against anti-Black racism and discrimination and the inequalities that Canadians of African descent continue to face;

AND WHEREAS it is important to recognize the heritage of Canada's Black communities and the contributions they have made and continue to make to Canada;

AND WHEREAS Black Nova Scotians are a distinct people who have contributed significantly to the history, development, diversity and cultural mosaic of Nova Scotia despite barriers they have encountered;

AND WHEREAS Nova Scotia is the birthplace of Black history in Canada, dating back to the early 1600's;

AND WHEREAS Black persons have been enslaved in Nova Scotia and Nova Scotians have engaged in the slave trade;

AND WHEREAS the Premier of Nova Scotia, on September 29, 2020, recognized and apologized for the continued racism in Nova Scotian society;

AND WHEREAS racist structures and institutional practices have resulted in the inability of Black Nova Scotians to access and enjoy many of the benefits of Canadian society, notably in areas such as education, housing, health, business, the justice system and community development;

AND WHEREAS there has been no formal apology from the Government of Canada for continued anti-Black racism in Canadian society;

AND WHEREAS Black Canadian Lives Matter;

AND WHEREAS Black Canadians have issued calls for apologies and reparations for slavery and racism;

AND WHEREAS, in consequence, it is appropriate to formally recognize August 1st as Emancipation Day and to observe it as a poignant reminder of an abhorrent period in Nova Scotia's history in order to allow Nova Scotians to reflect upon the imperative to continue to commit to eliminate discrimination in all its forms;

THEREFORE be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:

1 This Act may be cited as the Emancipation Day Act.

2 Throughout the Province, in each and every year, the first day of August shall be known as "Emancipation Day".


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