FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Black Class Action was pleased to join descendants of the Black Battalion and members of the Black Nova Scotian community to witness the Government of Canada’s long overdue apology for its historic role in propagating systemic racism and anti-Black hate within the Canadian Armed Forces.
We stand in solidarity with the descendants of the Black Battalion families and we salute the tremendous work done by these individuals to achieve this historic moment. This apology is one significant step forward in righting a series of terrible and long-standing wrongs against Black Canadians, but it cannot stand alone.
The servicemen of the No.2 Construction Battalion were denied dignity in their service and dignity in their post-service lives and deaths. While white servicemen were granted land, pensions and generous benefits, the servicemen of the Black Battalion were left with nothing. This injustice must be addressed and resolved by the Government of Canada for their apology to go beyond words and continue the healing process.
Many members of families descended from the Black Battalion are current members of the Black Class Action. This lineage of systemic racism within government institutions is disheartening but not surprising to those of us who have experienced exclusion from hiring, promotion and professional advancement as federal employees.
In the spirit of this important apology, the Black Class Action calls on Prime Minister Trudeau to direct his government to demonstrate compassion to those Black Canadians who have experienced racism and discrimination within our country’s public service. Current and former Black federal employees who continue to experience systemic racism should not be forced to fight for justice and recognition in the courts. The government must end this legal process and come to the table with tangible actions.
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