Statement by Premier Dennis King on Emancipation Day

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

“Today is an important day to recognize the strength and perseverance of Black communities. August 1 is recognized as Emancipation Day in Canada. In 1833, the British Empire introduced the Slavery Abolition Act and on August 1, 1834, and slavery was abolished.   

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 contributions of Black communities in Canada and PEI. We invite Islanders to learn from the heritage, important events and accomplishments of our Island’s Black community, while also learning to work against anti-Black racism and discrimination. 

I am pleased that the 2023-2028 Anti-Racism Action Plan for Prince Edward Island was released by the provincial government in June of this year.  The action plan will help improve the social, economic, educational and health outcomes for racialized and Indigenous people living in PEI. 

The provincial Anti-Racism Office was established to oversee the implementation of the Anti-Racism Action Plan. It will ensure a collaborative, whole-of-government approach is used to address systemic racism, promote diversity and help achieve anti-racist results. 

In recognition of Emancipation Day, The Black Cultural Society of PEI will hold a celebration event in Rochford Square, formerly the Bog. Island residents and visitors are welcome to attend the event and take part in the celebration.”

For more information on the Anti-Racism Office, visit: About the Anti-Racism Office.
For more information on Black Cultural Society, visit: Black Cultural Society of Prince Edward Island.

Media contact: 
Adam Ross
Office of the Premier

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