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Minister of National Defence marks Black History Month

Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and the Minister of National Defence, Anita Anand, delivered an apology on behalf of the Government of Canada for the systemic anti-Black racism that members of No. 2 Construction Battalion endured before, during, and long after the First World War.

February 2, 2023 | Vision Newspaper |

The Honourable Minister of National Defence, Anita Anand, issued the following statement yesterday to recognize and observe the beginning of Black History Month.

“Black History Month gives us the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the many contributions that Black Canadians have made over the years to help make Canada the prosperous, peaceful, democratic and compassionate nation that it is.

As Minister of National Defence, I especially appreciate and honour the Black Canadians who have proudly served and continue to serve this country, whether in uniform in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) or as public service employees with the Department of National Defence (DND), even in the face of discrimination, racism and hostility.

In November 2022, we established a new tradition of laying a wreath at the National Remembrance Day ceremony to commemorate the sacrifice and contributions of Black members of the Canadian Armed Forces. This wreath laying signals the importance of acknowledging Black contributions and addressing anti-Black racism, and it demonstrates our commitment building a more inclusive institution.

While we have made progress in addressing harmful behaviours like systemic anti-Black racism within our organization, we acknowledge that there is much work to do. We will continue to make fundamental changes to eliminate systemic barriers and create safer spaces for Black employees to share their experiences — whether it is through the Defence Visible Minority Advisory Group, the Director of Anti-Racism Implementation, or the Defence Team Black Employee Network.”

SOURCE Government of Canada

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