As the weather changes and leaves fall from trees and snow replaces the warmth of summer, there is much to reflect on about the past year and the new things to embrace in 2015.
In 2014, we witnessed the Canadian Labour Congress electing its first racialized president, Hassan Yussuff, a man who is proud to say he came here as an immigrant kid from Guyana and rose through the ranks to the pinnacle of Canada’s labour movement. The CLC president is also grounded in the vision that he is there to serve working people and intends to remain focused on that goal. Yussuff shares with us what motivates him to represent workers across Canada.
This is the year in which a wind of change blew through the Greater Toronto Area in municipal elections that resulted in new mayors in Toronto, Brampton and Mississauga. Some of the election campaigns stoked incidents of sexism, racism, and homophobia, which Barbara Hall, chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, reminds us are issues that are real in the lived experiences of many Ontarians. Hall, whose 10-year tenure comes to an end in February 2015, says she intends to continue championing social justice and equity after she leaves the human rights organization. The Liberal Party, led by Premier Kathleen Wynne, was also re-elected with a strong mandate to govern Ontario.
In the latter part of the year, there were three events that affirmed the important contributions of African Canadians and Black leadership to Toronto. A local bookstore, A Different Booklist, in partnership with Harbourfront Centre, unveiled and dedicated benches in Ontario Square honouring the work of several Black and Caribbean Canadians. The City of Toronto agreed to name University Avenue, from Front Street to College Street, “Nelson Mandela Boulevard,” and also gave the nod for the name, “Reggae Lane,” to be installed on a laneway in the Eglinton Avenue West and Oakwood Avenue area. This is to recognize the seminal contribution of Jamaica’s reggae music and culture to that area through the musicians, music stores, businesses and Jamaicans who settled there.
The new year brings with it Toronto’s hosting of the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games which will see thousands of athletes, officials and enthusiastic volunteers descend on the city. Not only will there be many sports fans from the Caribbean, South America, the USA and the rest of Canada, there will also be some of our own artists showcasing their talent at PANAMANIA, the arts and culture festival of the Games. We introduce to you 18-year-old high school student and powerful poet, Mustafa Ahmad, popularly known as Mustafa The Poet, and Nicole Brooks, an accomplished filmmaker and playwright.
We will also bid Police Chief Bill Blair adieu in 2015 and welcome whoever replaces him as the new head of the Toronto Police Service. It is also the year of a federal election so let us make sure that we question candidates who seek our vote about the issues that are important to us.
We promise you that in these pages you will find reading to stimulate your intellect, tease your curiosity, and resources to help in your search for service and business.
At Black Pages, we’re dedicated to providing you with the best product we can, and we continue to bring you new and innovative products as seen in the advertisements in this directory. We are the premier provider of community information through our print and online directories.
Thank you for your support.
Your Black Pages Team