Train Ride Fires Up Call For National Recognition of August 1st


Senator pledges to make August 1st National Emancipation Day across Canada

 It all happened underground late last Tuesday night while most of Toronto slept. Looking out over a sea of Caribbean Canadian faces at the start of the annual Freedom Ride; Senator Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard yelled out “You should see the beautiful view from here!”
The Halifax senator, one of only a few Afro-Canadians in the Upper Chamber, was a keynote speaker at the 6th annual Emancipation Day Underground Freedom Train ride. She told the huge audience that she is going to work to make August 1st a federally proclaimed national day to honour Emancipation Day. 
Senator Bernard shared the microphone with the Toronto Caribbean Carnival's Rita Cox, the honourary conductor of the 2018 Freedom Train. They stood on the steps of the Rotunda inside the TTC Union Station. The pair were surrounded by people wanting to join them on a special subway train ride to mark the August 1,1834 proclamation abolishing slavery in the British Empire and to honour the people who escaped to Canada on the Underground Railroad.
The TTC provided a private subway train that took 1,200 passengers from Union Station to the Sheppard Station. Arriving at midnight there was a second ceremony to mark the start of  the first of August.


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