Premier Doug Ford issued the following statement to commemorate the legacy of The Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander:
“Today, we pay tribute to a true trailblazer and inspiration to the next generation of leaders and all Ontarians, Lincoln Alexander.
Lincoln broke new ground as Canada’s first Black Member of Parliament, first Black federal cabinet minister, and Ontario’s first Black Lieutenant Governor. He overcame many obstacles in his path and excelled at serving the people of Canada. Above all, he worked tirelessly to end racial discrimination and make our province a better, more equitable place for all.
The events of this past year are a wakeup call to all of us to renew our commitment to fighting racism, hate and discrimination in all its forms. Our government remains committed to ending racism in Ontario and empowering Black Ontarians.
It’s why I set up the Premier’s Council of Equality of Opportunity, chaired by our Advocate for Community Opportunities, Jamil Jivani. The Council is working to find ways to remove social and economic barriers to success for our young people and communities of colour in Ontario. Our government also doubled funding for the Black Youth Action Plan to provide targeted support and opportunities to help Black youth and communities recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lincoln also recognized the value of education in changing lives, especially the lives of Black youth. This past year, our government took bold action to break down barriers for Black and racialized students through a new Education Equity Strategy. We are ending the practice of streaming in Grade 9 and eliminating discretionary suspensions for Grades K-3, which disproportionately affects Black students. We are committed to unleashing the full potential of all students and abolishing racism both inside and outside of the classroom.
Ontario’s strength comes from its diversity. We can all learn from the example of Lincoln Alexander as we work together to build a province free of discrimination and full of opportunity for all.”