Bill 134 2019
An Act to proclaim the month of October Caribbean Heritage Month
Canada is home to a large and vibrant Caribbean-Canadian community in excess of 800,000, with more than half of them residing in Ontario.
The Caribbean is a region and a culture made up of 42 distinct nations. In spite of their brutal history of colonialism, slavery and indentured servitude, today’s Caribbean peoples manifest a beautiful and complex mosaic of ancestries, including Amerindian, African, Asian, South American and European, and a multitude of languages including the six official languages: English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Creole and Papiamento. This remarkably unique region is proudly represented in the newly designed Caribbean Heritage Month symbol and flag.
Despite their rich diversity, Caribbean peoples hold, in common, a long-standing connection to Canada. Since the first Caribbeans arrived in Canada in the late 1700s, Caribbean-Canadians from across Ontario have made significant contributions across all fields and industries, including science, education, information technology, medicine, health and wellness, trades, agriculture, food, academia, broadcasting, law, politics, business, sports, philanthropy and arts and culture.
October is a significant month for the Caribbean-Canadian community. Improvements to the Immigration Act (Canada) in October 1967 and the introduction of the Multiculturalism Policy in October 1971 opened new doors, allowing Caribbean people to see Canada as a place to establish roots, raise their children and become a part of Canada’s mosaic.
Caribbean-Canadians continue to make important contributions to Ontario’s social, economic, political and cultural fabric. Caribbean-Canadians have helped build Ontario into the multicultural success story that it is and have helped to build this province into the best place to live, work and raise families. They continue to help foster growth, prosperity and innovation throughout Ontario.
Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
Caribbean Heritage Month
1 The month of October in each year is proclaimed as Caribbean Heritage Month.
2 This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.
3 The short title of this Act is the Caribbean Heritage Month Act, 2019.