August 1st, 2023

Emancipation Day an opportunity to reflect and celebrate

HALIFAX – As Nova Scotians mark Emancipation Day today, communities across Nova Scotia will gather to celebrate and reflect on the work done and still required to tackle racism and hate.

“We’ve come so far and yet we have so far to go,” said NDP Leader Claudia Chender. “Communities across our province are working hard to move forward and much has been done to advance the work of anti-racism in Nova Scotia, through projects like the Road to Economic Prosperity, the African Nova Scotian Justice Institute, and more. The government must continue to support these efforts and ensure the work they’ve promised to do gets done.”

Emancipation Day is the day when the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 became law across the British Empire, including Canada, on August 1st, 1834.

“We have to listen to and work with each other if we’re going to advance this important work to end racism and hate in Nova Scotia,” said NDP African Nova Scotian and Justice spokesperson Suzy Hansen. “The African Nova Scotian community has done the work and told our stories, and we need to be supported and listened to when we say it’s time for change. There are too many barriers still in place, creating uneven access to education, housing, healthcare, employment, wealth, and justice for African Nova Scotians, Black people, Indigenous people, and all people of colour.”

This is the third year Nova Scotia will recognize this important event after the province introduced legislation in 2021 to annually recognize August 1st as Emancipation Day.