Operation Black Vote Canada (OBVC) would once again like to congratulate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on his election success, and for being afforded the opportunity to appoint a cabinet that reflects the priorities of hardworking Canadians across the country.
The Prime Minister has demonstrated a keen focus on the importance of cabinet representation. In this regard, he understands that actions speak louder than words — and his actions, particularly on gender equality, speak volumes.
While we applaud his efforts to date, we feel strongly that there are broader principles of equality that ought to be reflected around Canada’s lead decision-making table.
We now have eight elected Black MPs, with six being Liberals, as such we have written to the Prime Minister to encourage him to increase the number of Black representatives in cabinet.
Regional, language and gender representation are of critical importance to creating a government that all Canadians can be a part of — and within which all Canadians see themselves reflected. We urge the Prime Minister and his office to extend this same level of importance to racial representation as it pertains to Black Canadian communities.
We have also asked the Prime Minister and the other leaders to increase the number of Black political staff in their office and support appointments of Black Canadians in the government as a whole.
Operation Black Vote Canada is disappointed and dismayed to learn that the Green Party of Canada has launched “a process that could remove Annamie Paul from leadership.”
As the first Black Canadian to ever lead a major political party, the election of Ms. Paul represented a step forward in the mission to diversify our politics, and have more Canadians represented in the institutions that represent them. Today’s developments represent a step backward in that endeavour.
Trailblazing journeys are never easy, and breaking barriers always comes at a cost. However, the experience that Ms. Paul has had to date is inexcusable, and is unlike the experiences of her federal counterparts or predecessor in the Green Party of Canada.
Operation Black Vote Canada will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds, and offers Leader Paul our unequivocal support as she continues to use her platform to be the change we want to see.
In a letter issued to leaders of all federal and provincial political parties, Operation Black Vote Canada (OBVC) is calling for the implementation of strategies to increase the meaningful participation of Black candidates in upcoming elections across the country.
“As leaders, the responsibility for setting the tone, priorities, and direction of the campaign their party will run ultimately rests with them,” said Velma Morgan, OBVC Chair. “This influence comes with both the opportunity and the obligation to ensure that the team of candidates they present to voters reflects the diversity of the communities they seek to serve.”
With a federal election potentially around the corner, and with scheduled elections in Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia in the next 12-18 months, OBVC’s letter calls for a commitment to the following principles aimed at sending more Black Canadians to legislatures across the country:
- Work with local electoral district associations to situate Black candidates in ridings with past records of success, or “winnable” ridings.
- Ensure that Black nomination candidates have equal access to lists, information, and data to further their campaigns.
- Ensure that nominated Black candidates receive the full support and backing of the party structure throughout the election cycle, including: fundraising support, leader engagement, and access to all relevant lists and data to increase chances for success.
PUBLISHED IN Pride News | PUBLISHED ON January 10, 2020
TORONTO, Ontario January 10, 2020 — Operation Black Vote Canada (OBVC) — established in 2004 as a non-profit and multi-partisan organization that supports the election of Black people to public office — has launched its inaugural 1834 Fellowship program.
Named for the year that slavery was abolished in Canada, the 1834 Fellowship will seek out 40 high-potential Black youth, between the ages of 18 and 25, for the first year of the program, to prepare them for civic leadership roles and support them in their skills and career development.
Developed by OBVC, the 1834 Fellowship is an intensive, one-year, civic leadership and public policy training program, which will be delivered, in partnership with Brock and Ryerson Universities.
“If we are to equip and prepare the next generation of young Black Canadians to take their place in our politics and government, we must start building the policymakers of tomorrow, today,” commented Velma Morgan, Chair of OBVC. “Policy matters and legislation affects our daily lives.”
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