Skip to main content Start of content
Start of content

e-2924 (Holidays and observances)

Initiated by Winston Chow from Vancouver, British Columbia

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • Emancipation Day recognizes the day that slavery was officially ended in the British Empire in 1834 before Canada was a separate country from Britain;
  • On August 1, 1834, only enslaved children were freed, full release from slavery happened just about four years later;
  • Making Emancipation Day a federal holiday would help confront the legacy of slavery and white supremacy;
  • Recognizing Emancipation Day helps teach the next generations about the shameful parts of the past that must not be repeated;
  • Canadian history is taught in schools from a eurocentric viewpoint that overlooks or minimizes the human rights infringements against Black and Indigenous people;
  • Emancipation Day is also about reflecting on our present, taking the time to examine the current circumstances, questioning slavery, fighting to end systemic racism for future generations, and remembering why black lives matter;
  • Emancipation Day is about learning and discussing Canada’s complete history that includes the history of slavery and systemic discrimination;
  • Slavery and segregation created circumstances of marginalization, a cycle of unequal access, lost opportunities and systemic poverty even after emancipation, Black people were and are targeted with discrimination, prejudice, and murder; and
  • Recognizing Emancipation Day on the federal level would be a major step toward accepting the sins of our history and working toward building a multiracial democracy where all of us are finally, truly free.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to officially recognize August 1, as the Emancipation Day holiday, to celebrate it on that day every year, and to incorporate the history behind Emancipation Day into our corrupted education system.
Open for signature
October 29, 2020, at 11:11 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
February 26, 2021, at 11:11 a.m. (EDT)
Photo - Jenny Kwan
Vancouver East
New Democratic Party Caucus
British Columbia
Disclaimer regarding petitions