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Raymond Sheppard: Open letter to all candidates running in the federal election

Federal election priorities should include reparations for African people

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Canada is misguided when it maintains the delusion that enslavement of African people did not happen here. It’s an attempt to change reality.

Why else would they not provide reparations to descendants of African people that were enslaved here. After all, Canada benefitted and continues to benefit. Canada provided reparations for the abuse Japanese Canadians were forced to endure and reparation was provided to survivors of the Holocaust and others. Yet African descendants of enslaved people are the only ones that have not received reparations. Why?  Racism against African people seems to be the answer. 

On two separate occasions, in 2017 and 2021, the United Nations suggested reparations for descendants of enslaved people in Canada.   

The Government of Canada has given lip service to the hardships of African Canadians on a number of occasions, but has failed to truly consider reparations.

During this federal election, those vying for the office of Prime Minister and those political parties wanting to form the next federal government should commit to reparations for African descendants of slavery in Canada. 

Reparations must include the following;

  1. An apology,
  2. Financial compensation plus, 
  3. Afrocentric mental health programs and services, 
  4. Higher education, college or university tuition to cover 4-year or 2-year for descendants of enslaved African Canadians and student loan forgiveness for descendants also.  No fee for any educational pursuit,
  5. No fee legal services,
  6. 5) Funding for a true history of African Canadians to be included in all Canadian history books,
  7. Home ownership funding with down payment grants, housing initiatives and home improvement grants,
  8. Employment and business development funding, business starting up, business expansion to hire more employees, or purchasing property\equipment for descendants.
  9. Funding for community organizations that fight racism, etc.   

The intergenerational pain of slavery and racism is still with the descendants of slavery, equally the intergenerational gain of non African people in Canada continues. 

It is estimated that Canada made 50 Trillion dollars from the enslavement of African people in Canada. If you multiply this over the years, this estimate would grow to 150 trillion dollars. Yet the racial wealth gap continues to benefit others while it continues to disadvantage African descendants. The fact that other groups in Canada have received reparations, and the fact that African descendants have not, speaks volumes. It’s past the time to do the right thing!!!

Raymond Sheppard

See also: Africville rally for reparations: “We want our community back, and we want to be compensated for our homes”

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