Hamilton MP seeks national day to honour 'Linc'

Chris Charlton asked fellow MPs to declare an annual Lincoln Alexander Day in honour of the late politician — a former Ontario lieutenant-governor and Canada's first black member of parliament.

'He is somebody who has done so much for our country,' says Chris Charlton

Staff and residents at Hamilton's Caroline Place Retirement Residence, where Lincoln Alexander once lived, set up a shrine commemorating the late politician after he died. (Flannery Dean/CBC)

Marking the one-year anniversary of Lincoln Alexander’s death, Hamilton Mountain MP Chris Charlton asked the House of Commons to honour the late Hamiltonian by making his birthday a national day. 

Speaking on behalf of late-politician’s widow, Marni Beal, Charlton asked MPs on Thursday for Alexander’s legacy to be honoured each year on January 21. 

“He is somebody who has done so much for our country,” Charlton said. “The least we could do is honour that exceptional public service.”

Alexander died on Oct. 19, 2012 at the age of 90. 

Known to many as “Linc,” Alexander was the first black Canadian to become an MP. He was elected in 1968 as the Progressive Conservative candidate for Hamilton West. 

He served as the lieutenant-governor of Ontario from 1985 to 1991.

Charlton, who first met Alexander when she was an intern at Queen’s Park, said people on all sides of the political spectrum loved him.

“Linc was one of those very rare individuals who rose way above party politics – who really was truly committed to public service,” she said. “Even in his retirement, he was everywhere.”  

Charlton plans to “keep the conversation going” in parliament with the hope of making January 21, 2014 the first national Lincoln Alexander Day. 

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