Chong honours the late Leonard Braithwaite in the House of Commons

May 2, 2012

Chong commemorates the lifetime achievements of Canada’s first black parliamentarian

OTTAWA – Michael Chong, Member of Parliament for Wellington-Halton Hills, today rose in the House of Commons to make the following statement:

“Mr. Speaker, just over one month ago, Canada lost a great patriot. Mr. Leonard Braithwaite – Canada’s first black parliamentarian – died at 88 years of age.

First elected to the Ontario legislature in 1963, Mr. Braithwaite pushed for ending the segregation of black children in Ontario schools, which Education Minister Bill Davis acted upon. Later, he became the first black bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada, and was appointed to both the Orders of Ontario and Canada.

Born to West Indian parents and raised in Toronto, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1943, serving with No. 6 Bomber Command in Yorkshire, England, during World War II. After the war, he returned to Canada, and graduated from the University of Toronto, Harvard Business School and Osgoode Hall Law School. 

Mr. Braithwaite was a great Canadian who blazed a trail for future generations. He leaves behind a remarkable legacy for his home province and for Canada.”

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