[36] Bill 46 Original (PDF)


Bill 46 1998

An Act proclaiming Emancipation Day


The British Parliament abolished slavery in the British Empire as of August 1, 1834 by enacting an Act being 3 & 4 Will. IV, c. 73 (U.K.) on August 28, 1833. That Act resulted from the work of abolitionists who struggled against slavery, including Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe who promoted the passage of an Act restricting slavery in Upper Canada, being 33 Geo. III, c. 7 (U.C.) enacted on July 9, 1793. Upper Canada was the predecessor of the Province of Ontario. Abolitionists and others who struggled against slavery, including those who arrived in Ontario by the underground railroad, have celebrated August 1 as Emancipation Day in the past.

Ancestors of Ontario's Black community were one of the founding communities of Ontario and Canada. The Black community has been present in Ontario for more than 300 years.

The year 1998 marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Ontario Black History Society, which is dedicated to the study, preservation and promotion of the history of Ontario's Black community, and the 30th anniversary of the martyrdom of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States of America.

It is important to recognize the heritage of Ontario's Black community and the contributions that it has made and continues to make to Ontario. It is also important to recall the ongoing international struggle for human rights which can be best personified by Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Accordingly, it is appropriate to recognize August 1 formally as Emancipation Day and to celebrate it.

Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

Emancipation Day

1. August 1 in each year is proclaimed as Emancipation Day.


2. This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.

Short title

3. The short title of this Act is the Emancipation Day Act, 1998.

Copyright © 1998

Office of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario

Toronto, Ontario, Canada.