Statement by Premier Dennis King on Emancipation Day

Hon. Dennis King, Premier of Prince Edward Island issued the following statement on Emancipation Day:  

“On March 23, 2022, the Prince Edward Island Legislature unanimously passed a bill to recognize August 1st as Emancipation Day. In 1833, the British Empire introduced the Slavery Abolition Act and on August 1, 1834, slavery was abolished. Despite that, racial discrimination continued and continues today in Canada and on Prince Edward Island.

It is important to acknowledge that slavery was present in Atlantic Canada, including PEI. The Bog was a neighbourhood in Charlottetown settled by Black slaves in the early 19th century. 

Emancipation Day celebrates the strength and perseverance of Black communities in Canada. It is a day for Islanders to reflect and educate themselves while they learn to work against anti-Black racism and discrimination. 

The Provincial Anti-Racism Table, formed with ethno-cultural community organizations and members-at-large, was created to work with government departments to provide valuable recommendations on issues related to anti-racism, diversity and inclusion. The group will identify actions that the provincial government can take to address systemic racism in the areas of education, justice, health, employment, housing, social programs and legislation. 

There are various community events being organized by the Black Cultural Society of PEI, including virtual panels and a march in Rochford Square, formerly the Bog. These offer an opportunity to participate and learn more about the Black community in Prince Edward Island.”

For more information on the Anti-Racism Table, visit: Anti-Racism Table
For more information on Black Cultural Society Emancipation Day events: Black Cultural Society of Prince Edward Island.

Media Contact: 
Adam Ross
Office of the Premier

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