BY ALYSSA MAHADEO
Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown, is following in the footsteps of great leaders before him, recognizing and celebrating the achievements of Black Canadians, in light of Black History month events that will be happening throughout the GTA during the month of February.
On Tuesday, February 2nd, he invited members of Canadian government to mingle alongside some of the most influential leaders working to implement change in the Caribbean Community.
Patrick was elected as Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario on May 9th, last year. His platform of Party renewal promised to grow the Party to over 100,000 members from every corner of the province representing the multicultural diversity of the citizens in Ontario. By building a bigger Party, firmly rooted in every community in Ontario he hopes to reconnect the PC Party with the people of the province before the next provincial election.
In reshaping the Party, this will present the opportunity to restructure and give members of the province a stronger voice to get their priorities in line, growing, training and nurturing a powerful province-wide network of candidates, riding associations, volunteers and activists ready to run and win in 107 ridings for when the next election is called.
Patrick Brown hosted his inaugural Black History Month Reception at the PC Caucus Boardroom at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in Queens Park. The evening invited dignitaries working within the Black Community to converse and meet Brown in an open and casual forum, praising them for their hard work and dedication, while also inviting them to collaborate with him by working together in the future. Patrick has worked hard to build partnerships with people, groups, corporations, governments and organizations – both at home and abroad – establishing connections that allow him to better serve his constituents and to rebuild Ontario as Premier.
The reception commenced with a singing of the Canadian and Black National Anthems by soprano singer Deniece Williams and was hosted by Canadian journalist, author and professional boxer, Spider Jones.
Honored guests included, Jamaican Consul General Lloyd Wilks, Dominica’s Trade and Investment Commissioner Frances Delsol, Councilor Michael Thompson, Marcia Brown of Trust 15, Nikki Clarke President of the Ontario Black History Society and Almas Jiwani President of UN Women Canada.
A few of the speakers for the evening included Dean Turner, a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, City Councilor Michael Thompson, Ted Arnott MPP, Wellington-Halton Hills and Alex Adebajo, who all came out to show their support for Patrick and the movements he is working on within Canadian Government. “Even if he wasn’t a politician and just a regular member of the community he would in fact still be doing the same thing,” praised Thompson. For years Patrick has been dedicated to working with not only the Black community, but also all communities in the GTA and from his political position with the PC Party he now has the chance to rally those individuals to stand beside him and create the diverse future of Canadian Government.
“I thought it was important for us to have this Black History Month reception for many reasons, the first one is to celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of the Black Community in Canada,” Brown explained as he took the podium for the evening. He wanted to host the reception in the Legislative Assembly Room because he wants the community to know that it is their home as much as it is his.
The Caucus boardroom is where they spend most of the time debating issues affecting the community and looking around the room there are portraits of all members of the Caucus, but none of them are Black Canadians. “I recognize that this community has some of the smartest and skillful, hardworking capable people in Canada and today is very much about celebrating the past and looking toward the future,” commends Brown. “My hope for the future is that we can work together. I would be disappointed if I arrived on a day when I might be premier and I do not have Black MPP and Cabinet Ministers. I want to see the community excel in every political party and the reality is that Governments change.”
Brown’s empowering vision of the future is an all-encompassing hope that the diversity of our community will be reflected in the seats of Parliament. “I want to assure the community that whether it’s an Alvin Curling or a Lincoln Alexander that you have the platform to succeed and that there is a platform here at Queens Park that is eager to embrace the most talented and smart individuals from the community.”