Canada does not have a Juneteenth celebration — and we don’t need one

Good reminder of the differences between Canada and the USA:

After the murder of George Floyd was captured and shared around the world last summer, many white communities found themselves thrust into what can best be defined as the Great White Awakening.

Prior to the killing of Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and many other Black victims also lost their lives to state-sponsored violence in 2020. But the eight-minute-and-46-second video of Floyd’s demise became the catalyst for a deluge of corporate and political anti-racism declarations.

The actual follow-through on those declarations has been largely inconsistent, but organizations and governments alike are still trying to find ways to appeal to the Black community. In North America, one publicized aspect of the outreach has been the institution of federal holidays to commemorate important dates in national (Black) history.

Source: Canada does not have a Juneteenth celebration — and we don’t need one

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

2 Responses to Canada does not have a Juneteenth celebration — and we don’t need one

  1. Robert Addington says:

    It is a serious mistake for Canadians to approach Canadian issues through the misleading prism of American history, politics and law. Yes, slavery was legal in Canada until 1834, but there never existed in Canada a plantation economy based on slave labour like the southern United States before the Civil War.

    The first ant-slavery law anywhere in the British Empire was passed in Upper Canada in 1793, 40 years before Emancipation throughout the Empire. It was introduced by a High Tory lieutenant-governor, John Graves Simcoe, despite opposition from local lawmakers some of whom were slaveholders. (Full disclosure: One of Simcoe’s sons was christened Henry Addington Simcoe. His namesake and godfather was my direct ancestor Henry Addington, a friend and neighbour of Simcoe in rural Devon.)

  2. Andrew says:

    Agree. And thanks for sharing your personal connection.

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