[38] Bill 181 Original (PDF)

Bill 181 2007

An Act to proclaim Martin Luther King Jr. Day


More than 100 countries around the globe formally honour the person and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) in support of the movement inspired by his life and death to promote interracial harmony based on the principles of human rights, equality and freedom.

The words and example of Dr. King are reflected in Canada's historic opposition to slavery and support of human rights. In 1793, Ontario's first Lieutenant Governor, John Graves Simcoe, opened the first Parliament of Upper Canada with his own anti-slavery legislation. On August 1, 1834, also known as Emancipation Day, the enslavement of Africans was formally abolished in Canada through an Act of the United Kingdom. The heroic legacy of the Underground Railroad highlighted Canada as a main destination of freedom for many African-American ex-slaves and includes the inspiring courage of Harriet Tubman. Also, the year 2007 marks the 45th anniversary of the first human rights code in Ontario.

An annual celebration of Dr. King's life, witness and martyrdom, in addition to the ongoing commemoration of February as Black History Month, serves as a fitting time to consider the contributions of African-Canadians to the cultural landscape of Canada, their ongoing role in working to end discrimination and racism and the role of our democratic parliamentary heritage in protecting our rights and responsibilities.

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

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

   1.  The third Monday in January of each year is proclaimed as Martin Luther King Jr. 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 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Act, 2007.



The Bill proclaims the third Monday in January of each year as Martin Luther King Jr. Day.