Today in Toronto, the first Monday in August, coinciding with Civic Day is Simcoe Day. John Graves Simcoe, the first lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada should be remembered not for that distincition alone. We should be honouring him for what to me is his most important accomplishment as L-G. The passing of the Act Against Slavery on the 9th of July, 1793. This was a full 40 years before the Emancipation Act effectively ended slavery throughout the British Empire.

Today there is still a great deal of work to do to erradicate racism generally, the anti-black racism that was created to justify the trans-atlantic slave trade specifically, and even the ongoing practice of slavery in the world today. People in the past knew that it was wrong, and took action. Let us do the same today.