TORONTO, Ontario – To honour Lincoln Alexander, on October 31, Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott tabled An Act to proclaim Lincoln Alexander Day in the Ontario Legislature.
The Bill would proclaim January 21 of each year as Lincoln Alexander Day in Ontario.
Lincoln Alexander was one of the most outstanding and accomplished Ontarians of our generation, says Arnott.
Born on January 21, 1922, Mr. Alexander served in the House of Commons from 1968 to 1980, representing the riding of Hamilton West, and in 1979 was appointed as Minister of Labour, making history as Canada’s first Black Cabinet Minister.
He later served as Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Board of Ontario, as Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, and as Chancellor of the University of Guelph. Alexander passed away a year ago last month.
“His life was an example of service, determination and humility,” said Arnott. “Always fighting for equal rights for all races in our society, and doing so without malice, he changed attitudes and contributed greatly to the inclusiveness and tolerance of Canada today.”
Mr. Alexander’s second wife, Marni Beal-Alexander, and family members, Joyce Alexander and Erika Alexander, was present at Queen’s Park, as Arnott introduced the bill. Rosemary Sadlier, President of the Ontario Black History Society, was also in attendance.
“The idea of establishing a Lincoln Alexander Day first came to me while I was attending an event at the University of Guelph last month. I was thinking of his time as Chancellor at Guelph and it struck me that there should be some kind of official recognition to honour him,” said Arnott.
“As a former MP, Cabinet Minister, Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Board, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and Chancellor of the University of Guelph, he lived a life of public service and changed our province and our country for the better.”
After reviewing the Legislative record, Arnott said he was reminded that a similar bill to recognize Mr. Alexander was introduced in 2007 by then-Liberal MPP, Jennifer Mossop, but was not passed into law.
Before introducing the Bill, Arnott reached out to members of other parties. The Bill is being co-sponsored by Scarborough-Rouge River Liberal MPP, Bas Balkissoon, and Hamilton East-Stoney Creek NDP MPP, Paul Miller.
“I want to thank Mr. Balkissoon and Mr. Miller for their help in bringing this Bill forward,” Arnott said. “It is my hope that by working together with members from all three parties, all MPPs can come together to support this Bill and give Lincoln Alexander the recognition that he deserves.”