This Explanatory Note was written as a reader’s aid to Bill 75 and does not form part of the law. Bill 75 has been enacted as Chapter 42 of the Statutes of Ontario, 2021.
The Bill proclaims the month of August in each year as Emancipation Month.
An Act to proclaim the month of August as Emancipation Month
Assented to December 9, 2021
Anti-Black racism has been prevalent in the history of Ontario. Slavery, inequities, exclusion and many other forms of discrimination have been the basis of much of Ontario’s past.
By proclaiming August as Emancipation Month, Ontario is following the UN General Assembly’s adoption of the period of 2015 to 2024 being the International Decade for People of African Descent to ensure people of African descent receive the recognition, justice and access to opportunities they deserve.
Ontario acknowledges and recognizes the Slavery Abolition Act,1833, eliminating slavery in most of the British colonies at that time. It received Royal Assent on August 28, 1833 and took effect on August 1, 1834.
Ontario pays tribute to the important contributions and leadership that the Black communities have made and continue to make in Ontario as a major part of the vibrant social, economic, political and cultural fabric of our province.
Emancipation Month is a time for healing, unification and restoration. It is about eliminating discrimination by continuing to educate and advance the importance of racial equity across the province. Emancipation Month will help build a more inclusive province, where everyone is treated with fairness, respect and dignity.
Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1 The month of August in each year is proclaimed as Emancipation Month.