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Canada Trudeau to appear in film about slavery with senator who criticized him over blackface

07:22  22 july  2021
07:22  22 july  2021 Source:   nationalpost.com

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Amid ongoing speculation about a summer or fall election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will have to appear in a film about slavery, which will be broadcast on YouTube after the government failed to secure private-sector interest.

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On Monday, Canadian Heritage announced the 60-minute film will be released on Emancipation Day — Aug. 1 — to commemorate the day in 1834 that the Slavery Abolition Act took effect across the British Empire, abolishing slavery.

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“The video will be educational in nature,” Daniel Savoie, spokesperson for the heritage department, told Blacklock’s Reporter, an Ottawa online news outlet. “It will feature Black Canadian personalities as well as storytelling from Black Canadians. We recently reached out to broadcasters around the country to see if their organization would be interested.”

The film, the department said, cost $110,000 to make.

It will also feature Bardish Chagger, the Liberal minister of diversity and inclusion and youth and Sen. Wanda Thomas Bernard, who had sponsored a bill that would have officially recognized Emancipation Day. That bill lapsed.

Bernard has previously criticized Trudeau for appearing three times in blackface. Photos of Trudeau surfaced during the last federal election.

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“It epitomizes how deeply rooted racism is in our country, how deeply rooted privilege and power is in our country,” said Bernard at the time. “These were socially-sanctioned events. It tells me racism is socially acceptable in our country.”

The film is directed by Marcus Armstrong, the founder of Introspective Films and produced in conjunction with Canadian Heritage and the National Film Board.

A news release from Canadian Heritage says the film will feature a number of prominent members of the Black Canadian community, who will “reflect on the historical significance of this day and honour the courage, resilience and perseverance of people of African descent and Indigenous people overcoming adversity throughout our history.”

“This day is an integral part of our history and the chance to recognize our past, while looking towards our consciously more inclusive future,” the release says.

The film is co-hosted by hip-hop artist Webster and Syvia Parris-Drummond, the CEO of the Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute.

Historians have suggested there were some 4,000 slaves in Canada between 1671 and 1834, the majority of which were Indigenous people. In the 18th Century, many loyalists fleeing the American revolution brought slaves north with them.

In 1793, Upper Canada (Ontario) banned the importation of slaves. Slavery in Quebec was whittled away by court decisions over the same period.

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usr: 6
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