Open Request Letter to MP Greg Fergus to Sponsor ‘October as Caribbean Heritage Month in Canada’ (Oct 23, 2020)

Friday, October 23, 2020

Member of Parliament Greg Fergus

House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6

Good day MP Fergus,

I am writing this letter on behalf of the Boards of Caribbean Women’s Society (CWS), Caribbean-Canadian Parents United, and Caribbean-Canadian Chamber of Commerce & Community; to request your support for the Caribbean-Canadian community by accepting the role of  Sponsor to propose ‘October as Caribbean Heritage Month in Canada’.

To preclude any misunderstanding, while February is a commemorative month to recognize Black History and the historical experience and achievements of Black Canadians, exclusively of African ancestry; Caribbean Heritage Month is intrinsically different.

In alignment with your interest to encourage a sense of belonging; and to discern, Caribbean Heritage Month recognizes, teaches, and explores the rich cultural heritage and contributions of Canadians of Caribbean descent; which infers forty-three distinct nations, counting Montserrat; a range of ethnicities, including, Amerindian, South American, Asian, African, Southeast Asian, and European; and six official languages.

Since their first arrival in Canada in the late 1700’s to present day, Caribbean-Canadians continue to contribute to Canada’s growth and prosperity; for instance, your continuous contributions to the Senate since 2018.  The Caribbean community in Canada deserves merit for further enriching Canada’s mosaic.

As background, our accomplishments to date include:

  1. In 2018, CWS was a recipient of the Multi-Cultural Community Capacity Grant-Funding from the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration; to plan and launch Caribbean Heritage Month; including the first Canadian website dedicated to sharing and promoting Caribbean Heritage Month in Canada www.ourchm.ca
  2. In partnership with Caribbean-Canadian Parents United and Caribbean-Canadian Chamber of Commerce & Community, CWS has been hosting a series of cultural events, activities, and social media campaigns throughout October in 2018, 2019 and 2020; to celebrate Caribbean Heritage Month.
  3. CWS has consistently recruited and mobilized hundreds of Caribbean-Canadian volunteers, including women, youth, and seniors, to contribute and participate in Caribbean Heritage Month activities and events since 2018.
  4. CWS hosted the first annual Caribbean Heritage Month flag-raising ceremony on October 1, 2018 at Mel Lastman Square in North York, Ontario.
  5. CWS hosted the second annual Caribbean Heritage Month flag-raising ceremony on October 1, 2019 at Ken Whillans Square in Brampton, Ontario.
  6. CWS hosted the third annual Caribbean Heritage Month flag-raising ceremony on October 1, 2020, via virtual livestream: https://youtu.be/T9-D1EN-H_4
  7. CWS has gained over 2000 signatures combined, on their Parliament of Canada petition https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-2722 and their change.org petition: http://chng.it/fndWtdwdLM.
  8. CWS has received Congratulatory letters from Premier Doug Ford and the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Elizabeth Dowdeswell.
  9. Several municipalities throughout the Ontario have proclaimed the month of October to be Caribbean Heritage Month, including Pickering, Whitby, Vaughan, Toronto, Caledon, Markham and Brampton.
  10. CWS has consistently fostered and facilitated civic engagement activities within the Caribbean-Canadian community, including women, youth, and seniors; to advocate for Caribbean Heritage Month in Canada, since 2018.
  11. CWS gained the support of MPP Michael Coteau in sponsoring Bill 134 in Ontario Parliament on October 28, 2019.

MP Fergus, I am confident that I have provided you with sufficient evidence to prove that legislating Caribbean Heritage Month in Canada is of great significance to the Caribbean-Canadian community and would benefit all Canadians.  Given your Caribbean heritage, as a descendent from the British protectorate of Montserrat; and given, approximately 11% of the 18% visible minority population (statscan 2016) of your Hull-Aylmer constituency is made up of Caribbean-Canadians, I trust that you will accept the very fitting role of Sponsor to propose ‘October as Caribbean Heritage Month in Canada’.

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Camille Kerr

President

Open Request Letter to Senator Rosemary Moodie to Sponsor ‘October as Caribbean Heritage Month in Canada’ (Oct 22, 2020)

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Senator Rosemary Moodie

The Senate of Canada

Ottawa ON K1A 0A4

Good day Senator Moodie,

I am writing this letter on behalf of the Boards of Caribbean Women’s Society (CWS), Caribbean-Canadian Parents United, and Caribbean-Canadian Chamber of Commerce & Community; to request your support for the Caribbean-Canadian community by accepting the role of Sponsor to propose ‘October as Caribbean Heritage Month in Canada’.

To preclude any misunderstanding, while February is a commemorative month to recognize Black History and the historical experience and achievements of Black Canadians, exclusively of African ancestry; Caribbean Heritage Month is intrinsically different.

To concur with your advice to students in February 2020: “Once you embrace who you are, you can begin to understand what you can contribute”; and to discern, Caribbean Heritage Month recognizes, teaches, and explores the rich cultural heritage and contributions of Canadians of Caribbean descent; which infers forty-three distinct nations, counting Jamaica; a range of ethnicities, including, Amerindian, South American, Asian, African, Southeast Asian, and European; and six official languages.

Since their first arrival in Canada in the late 1700’s to present day, Caribbean-Canadians continue to contribute to Canada’s growth and prosperity; for instance, your continuous contributions to the Senate since 2018.  The Caribbean community in Canada deserves merit for further enriching Canada’s mosaic.

As background, our accomplishments to date include:

  1. In 2018, CWS was a recipient of the Multi-Cultural Community Capacity Grant-Funding from the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration; to plan and launch Caribbean Heritage Month; including the first Canadian website dedicated to sharing and promoting Caribbean Heritage Month in Canada www.ourchm.ca
  2. In partnership with Caribbean-Canadian Parents United and Caribbean-Canadian Chamber of Commerce & Community, CWS has been hosting a series of cultural events, activities, and social media campaigns throughout October in 2018, 2019 and 2020; to celebrate Caribbean Heritage Month.
  3. CWS has consistently recruited and mobilized hundreds of Caribbean-Canadian volunteers, including women, youth, and seniors, to contribute and participate in Caribbean Heritage Month activities and events since 2018.
  4. CWS hosted the first annual Caribbean Heritage Month flag-raising ceremony on October 1, 2018 at Mel Lastman Square in North York, Ontario.
  5. CWS hosted the second annual Caribbean Heritage Month flag-raising ceremony on October 1, 2019 at Ken Whillans Square in Brampton, Ontario.
  6. CWS hosted the third annual Caribbean Heritage Month flag-raising ceremony on October 1, 2020, via virtual livestream: https://youtu.be/T9-D1EN-H_4
  7. CWS has gained over 2000 signatures combined, on their Parliament of Canada petition https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-2722 and their change.org petition: http://chng.it/fndWtdwdLM.
  8. CWS has received Congratulatory letters from Premier Doug Ford and the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Elizabeth Dowdeswell.
  9. Several municipalities throughout the Ontario have proclaimed the month of October to be Caribbean Heritage Month, including Pickering, Whitby, Vaughan, Toronto, Caledon, Markham and Brampton.
  10. CWS has consistently fostered and facilitated civic engagement activities within the Caribbean-Canadian community, including women, youth, and seniors; to advocate for Caribbean Heritage Month in Canada, since 2018.
  11. CWS gained the support of MPP Michael Coteau in sponsoring Bill 134 in Ontario Parliament on October 28, 2019.

Senator Moodie, I am confident that I have provided you with sufficient evidence to prove that legislating Caribbean Heritage Month in Canada is of great significance to the Caribbean-Canadian community and would benefit all Canadians.  Given your Caribbean honor, as suggested by your service on the Board of Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation, and given, “ the Senate has evolved…to giving voice to underrepresented groups like…visible minorities and women” (https://sencanada.ca/en/about/), I trust that you will accept the very fitting role of Sponsor to propose ‘October as Caribbean Heritage Month in Canada’.

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Camille Kerr, President

Open Request Letter to Senator Marie-Francoise Megie to Sponsor ‘October as Caribbean Heritage Month in Canada’ (Oct 15, 2020)

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Senator Marie-Françoise Mégie

The Senate of Canada

Ottawa ON K1A 0A4

Good day Senator Mégie,

I am writing this letter on behalf of the Boards of Caribbean Women’s Society (CWS), Caribbean-Canadian Parents United, and Caribbean-Canadian Chamber of Commerce & Community; to request your support for the Caribbean-Canadian community by accepting the role of Sponsor to propose ‘October as Caribbean Heritage Month in Canada’.

To preclude any misunderstanding, while February is a commemorative month to recognize Black History and the historical experience and achievements of Black Canadians, exclusively of African ancestry; Caribbean Heritage Month is intrinsically different.

To discern, Caribbean Heritage Month recognizes, teaches, and explores the rich cultural heritage and contributions of Canadians of Caribbean descent; which infers forty-three distinct nations, counting Haiti; a range of ethnicities, comprising, Amerindian, South American, Asian, African, Southeast Asian, and European; as well as a six official languages, including French and Creole.

Since their first arrival in Canada in the late 1700’s to present day, Caribbean-Canadians continue to contribute to Canada’s growth and prosperity; for instance, your continuous contributions to the Senate since 2016.  The Caribbean community in Canada deserves merit for further enriching Canada’s mosaic.

As background, our accomplishments to date include:

  1. In 2018, CWS was a recipient of the Multi-Cultural Community Capacity Grant-Funding from the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration; to plan and launch Caribbean Heritage Month; including the first Canadian website dedicated to sharing and promoting Caribbean Heritage Month in Canada www.ourchm.ca
  2. In partnership with Caribbean-Canadian Parents United and Caribbean-Canadian Chamber of Commerce & Community, CWS has been hosting a series of cultural events, activities, and social media campaigns throughout October in 2018, 2019 and 2020; to celebrate Caribbean Heritage Month.
  3. CWS has consistently recruited and mobilized hundreds of Caribbean-Canadian volunteers, including women, youth, and seniors, to contribute and participate in Caribbean Heritage Month activities and events since 2018.
  4. CWS hosted the first annual Caribbean Heritage Month flag-raising ceremony on October 1, 2018 at Mel Lastman Square in North York, Ontario.
  5. CWS hosted the second annual Caribbean Heritage Month flag-raising ceremony on October 1, 2019 at Ken Whillans Square in Brampton, Ontario.
  6. CWS hosted the third annual Caribbean Heritage Month flag-raising ceremony on October 1, 2020, via virtual livestream: https://youtu.be/T9-D1EN-H_4
  7. CWS has gained over 2000 signatures combined, on their Parliament of Canada petition https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-2722 and their change.org petition: http://chng.it/fndWtdwdLM.
  8. CWS has received Congratulatory letters from Premier Doug Ford and the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Elizabeth Dowdeswell.
  9. Several municipalities throughout the Ontario have proclaimed the month of October to be Caribbean Heritage Month, including Pickering, Whitby, Vaughan, Toronto, Caledon, Markham and Brampton.
  10. CWS has consistently fostered and facilitated civic engagement activities within the Caribbean-Canadian community, including women, youth, and seniors; to advocate for Caribbean Heritage Month in Canada, since 2018.
  11. CWS gained the support of MPP Michael Coteau in sponsoring Bill 134 in Ontario Parliament on October 28, 2019.

Senator Mégie, I am confident that I have provided you with sufficient evidence to prove that legislating Caribbean Heritage Month in Canada is of great significance to the Caribbean-Canadian community and would benefit all Canadians.  Given your Caribbean honor, as suggested by your past role as President of the Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad, and given, “ the Senate has evolved…to giving voice to underrepresented groups like…visible minorities and women” (https://sencanada.ca/en/about/), I trust that you will accept the very fitting role of Sponsor to propose ‘October as Caribbean Heritage Month in Canada’.

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Camille Kerr

President

2020 Recipient of the Caribbean-Canadian Young Professional Award

And the 2020 Recipient of the Caribbean-Canadian Young Professional Award is… Kamini P. (🇬🇾)! Congratulations!🎖️🎉

The Caribbean-Canadian Chamber of Commerce & Community promotes leadership among Caribbean-Canadian (CC) young adults. The annual CC Young Professional Award Program recognizes the demonstrated leadership and influence of CC young professionals in their field and/or community. The recipient of this award demonstrates strong leadership skills, innovation and motivation to improve the social and/or economic well-being of the Caribbean-Canadian community.

October is Caribbean Heritage Month

News Release

October is Caribbean Heritage Month.

October 1, 2020 

Continued history-in-the-making for the Caribbean-Canadian community.

In 2018, Caribbean Women’s Society (CWS) proclaimed October as Caribbean Heritage Month; to be observed every year.  

Caribbean Heritage Month is an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about Caribbean-Canadians and the important and inspirational role that they have played and continue to play in communities across Canada.  

To mark the occasion, the general public and media are invited to attend the third annual flag-raising ceremony and official proclamation, virtually, on October 1, 2020, from 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM.  CWS and their partners, Caribbean-Canadian Parents United and Caribbean-Canadian Chamber of Commerce & Community will be hosting and livestreaming several virtual, cultural events for the general public, throughout the month of October.

Caribbean Women’s Society is inviting the general public, in solidarity with their partners, supporters and Caribbean-Canadian community, to petition the government of Canada, to represent the concerns of the Canadian residents and citizens by legislating October as Caribbean Heritage Month.

We are a richly diverse and distinct collective of Caribbean nations; with a shared, long-standing connection to Canada.  Caribbean people have been a part of Canada’s history since the late 1700’s; and have been contributing to Canadian society ever since. It’s time our story is finally told. See us for who we are as a people; and call us by our rightful name, ‘Caribbean-Canadian’,” states Camille Kerr, Founder & President of Caribbean Women’s Society. 

QUICK FACTS

  • Canada is home to a large and vibrant Caribbean-Canadian community; a diverse group representing forty-three Caribbean nations, regions and territories; a uniquely, wide range of ancestries, such as Indigenous, African, South American, South Asian, European and Asian; and a multitude of languages including the six official languages: English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Creole and Papiamento.
  • October signifies an important time in history for Caribbean-Canadians, with the improvements made to the Immigration Act, October 1967, and the introduction of the Multiculturalism Policy, October 1971, came a historically significant increase in Caribbean immigration. 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

CONTACT Administrator info@ourchm.ca | Caribbean Heritage Month www.ourchm.ca

Partners: 

Caribbean Women’s Society www.ourchm.ca/ourcws/ 

Caribbean-Canadian Chamber of Commerce & Community www.ourchm.ca/thefirstc5/

Caribbean-Canadian Parents United www.ourchm.ca/ourccpu/ 

Peaceful Demonstration and Protest in support of Bill 134 on November 28, 2019

November 21, 2019 

Caribbean Women’s Society fosters civic engagement for Bill 134.

Caribbean Women’s Society (CWS), a grassroots, non-profit organization, is inviting the Caribbean-Canadian community and their supporters to participate in a peaceful demonstration and protest in support of Bill 134 on Thursday, November 28, from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM; at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.  The media and Members of Provincial Parliament (MPP) have been invited to attend.  For details and registration, visit www.ourcws.com/events

As background, with the support and participation of community members and organizations, CWS proclaimed Caribbean Heritage Month in October 2018. History was made a year later, on Monday, October 28, 2019, when Liberal MPP Michael Coteau’s introduction of Bill 134, Caribbean Heritage Month Act, 2019, passed its first reading in the House proceedings of Ontario’s 42nd Parliament, 1st Session.  Community members, CWS and other community organizations were in attendance to support and witness the historic occasion.  Since then, members of the Caribbean-Canadian community, organizations, and supporters have been persistently lobbying their MPP representatives to assist Bill 134 in the legislative process, toward officially proclaiming October in each year as Caribbean Heritage Month in Ontario.

“Our supporters are encouraged to demonstrate with us on November 28 and hold our Legislative Assembly to account.  Caribbean-Canadian heritage, history and contributions to Ontario are deeply-rooted and deserve recognition. We will continue to foster civic engagement within our community; to persist and amplify our voice until our Conservative government does the right thing and enacts Bill 134, Caribbean Heritage Month Act, 2019” stated Camille Kerr, Founder & President of Caribbean Women’s Society. 

QUICK FACTS

  • Caribbean Women’s Society proclaimed October as Caribbean Heritage Month in 2018: an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about Caribbean-Canadians and the important and inspirational role that they have played and continue to play in communities across Ontario
  • Caribbean Heritage Month brings together several community organizations, volunteers and participants, on an annual basis, to plan and host cultural events for the general public.
  • Canada is home to a large and vibrant Caribbean-Canadian community; a diverse group representing forty-two Caribbean nations, regions and territories; a uniquely, wide range of ancestries, such as Amerindian, African, South American, Asian, and European; and a multitude of languages including the six official languages: English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Creole and Papiamento.
  • October signifies an important time in history for Caribbean-Canadians; with the improvements made to the Immigration Act, October 1967, and the introduction of the Multiculturalism Policy, October 1971, came a historically significant increase in Caribbean immigration. 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

CONTACT Administrator admin@ourcws.com | Caribbean Heritage Month https://ourchm.ca/

Partners: Caribbean Women’s Society https://ourcws.com/ Caribbean-Canadian Chamber of Commerce & Community https://c5ontario.com/
Caribbean-Canadian Parents United https://www.ccpunited.ca/ Mindful Parenting Toolkit https://www.mindfulparentingtoolkit.com/ 
Talkin’ Tales https://www.facebook.com/Talkin-Tales-a-Celebration-of-Afro-Caribbean-Heritage-419023965392990/ 
Women’s Softball Cricket Association https://www.facebook.com/womensoftballcricket/?ref=py_c

Bill 134, Caribbean Heritage Month Act, 2019, passes first reading

News Release

Bill 134, Caribbean Heritage Month Act, 2019 passes first reading

October 30, 2019 

Continued history-in-the-making for the Caribbean-Canadian community.

History was made on Monday, October 28, 2019, when, member of provincial Parliament (MPP), Michael Coteau’s introduction of Bill 134, Caribbean Heritage Month Act, 2019, passed its first reading in the House proceedings of Ontario’s 42nd Parliament, 1st Session.  Several community members and organizations were in attendance to witness the historic occasion.

Caribbean Women’s Society (CWS) first proclaimed Caribbean Heritage Month in October 2018.  Now, with the assistance of MPP Michael Coteau, officially entitled Caribbean Heritage Month Act 2019, Bill 134 will need to pass a total of three readings to become law and mark the provincial recognition of October as Caribbean Heritage Month across Ontario.

The support and approval from the Caribbean-Canadian community and dedicated, volunteer-based, community organizations, continues to outpour as they engage the public on social media and lobby their local MPPs.

I’m honoured to have witnessed such a monumental accomplishment for our Caribbean-Canadian community and we thank MPP Michael Coteau for his ongoing support.  There’s more work to do and our remarkable community members and organizations will continue to partner, advocate, grow public support and lobby our local MPPs until Bill 134, Caribbean Heritage Month Act, 2019, ultimately, comes into force,” asserted Camille Kerr, Founder & President of Caribbean Women’s Society. 

QUICK FACTS

  • Caribbean Women’s Society proclaimed October as Caribbean Heritage Month in 2018; an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about Caribbean-Canadians and the important and inspirational role that they have played and continue to play in communities across Ontario.
  • Caribbean Heritage Month brings together several community organizations, volunteers and participants, on an annual basis, to plan and host cultural events for the general public.
  • Canada is home to a large and vibrant Caribbean-Canadian community; a diverse group representing forty-two Caribbean nations, regions and territories; a uniquely, wide range of ancestries, such as Amerindian, African, South American, Asian, and European; and a multitude of languages including the six official languages: English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Creole and Papiamento.
  • October signifies an important time in history for Caribbean-Canadians; with the improvements made to the Immigration Act, October 1967, and the introduction of the Multiculturalism Policy, October 1971, came a historically significant increase in Caribbean immigration. 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

CONTACT Administrator admin@ourcws.com | Caribbean Heritage Month https://ourchm.ca/

Partners: Caribbean Women’s Society https://ourcws.com/ Caribbean-Canadian Chamber of Commerce & Community https://c5ontario.com/
Caribbean-Canadian Parents United https://www.ccpunited.ca/ Mindful Parenting Toolkit https://www.mindfulparentingtoolkit.com/ 
Talkin’ Tales https://www.facebook.com/Talkin-Tales-a-Celebration-of-Afro-Caribbean-Heritage-419023965392990/ 
Women’s Softball Cricket Association https://www.facebook.com/womensoftballcricket/?ref=py_c