(PHOTO: Kemba Williams, co-founder of the Kean Real Estate) It's been nearly five months since the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund was announced. Aimed at Black Canadian entrepreneurs, the $291.3 million loan fund was jointly developed by the Government of Canada and the Federation of African Canadian Economics (FACE).

    October 17th marked three years since Canada legalized the recreational use and sale of cannabis. In the campaign leading up to the country’s final decision, many promises were made by the Liberal government to bring justice to the individuals and communities most impacted by the war on the plant. To date, little has been done at this level to make such promises a reality.

    (PHOTO: Fay Bruney, owner of Calgary restaurant Simply Irie Caribbean Cuisine) Small businesses are facing an uphill battle when it comes to funding, especially due to the ongoing pandemic. The long-standing systemic racism and discrimination makes Black entrepreneurs more vulnerable to funding shortages. Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP rose to the occasion, and over three years (2020-2022), is offering financial support to Black-led businesses in three cities: Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary.

    The snap federal election crept up on us and went by fast. We combed through the results to do a tally of all the Black candidates who won their seats and are now federal MP’s. In total there are now eight Black MP's in the House of Commons. Interestingly, all of them, except for two, are members of the Liberal Party.

    On September 30th the nation will mark its first Truth and Reconciliation Day, to reflect, and take action on the historic and current mistreatment of Indigenous people. The holiday was originally proposed back in 2015 by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which called on the federal government to dedicate a statutory holiday “to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.” 

    London’s Ward 13 councillor, Arielle Kayabaga, has just made history again - this time as the first Black candidate to be elected into the House of Commons representing the electoral district of London West.

    On September 9, 2021, parent advocacy group Parents of Black Children (PoBC) launched the Omo Africentric Virtual Campus. A first-of-its-kind in Canada, the virtual campus is good news for parents and guardians of Black children who have been searching for a more expansive curriculum addressing the needs of their African heritage.

    “Go home? But this is my home. I've been here now for 57 years. I lived in Canada longer than I lived where I was born. Where else can I go?” asks Annique Alolo (whose name has been changed for this story). Alolo, 81, is a Black Canadian woman from Toronto who was recently attacked by a white woman and her dog.

    The farmworker migrant crisis in Canada cannot be ignored this Labour Day. While we pay tribute to the contributions and achievements of all workers, it’s important we also campaign for the rights of those in need of better working conditions. 

    Last week QueenTite Opaleke was late for work. She was walking across a busy street near Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto and noticed a Black man crossing the street too, walking in her direction. 

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