N.S. introduces bill to mark end of slavery in British colonies with Emancipation Day

Click to play video: 'Canada to designate August 1 as Emancipation Day' Canada to designate August 1 as Emancipation Day
Following a unanimous vote by MPs, August 1st is now officially Emancipation Day in Canada. On that day in 1834, slavery was abolished across the British Empire. As Ross Lord explains, descendants of slaves are hoping this will trigger some real change – Mar 26, 2021

Nova Scotia has introduced legislation to recognize the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the British Empire.

Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs Tony Ince tabled the bill today to officially designate Aug. 1 as Emancipation Day.

It would recognize the day in 1834 when the British parliament outlawed the owning, buying and selling of humans as property throughout its colonies.

The historic act freed about 800,000 enslaved people of African descent across the colonies, including in Upper and Lower Canada and Nova Scotia.

Read more: N.S. premier defends apology, says he isn’t imposing solution on racialized communities

Ince says commemorating the day with a non-statutory holiday gives residents an opportunity to educate themselves on the history of slavery in the province.

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The announcement comes just weeks after MPs in the House of Commons voted unanimously to designate Aug. 1 as Emancipation Day across Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 13, 2021.

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