MLA says blacks deserve apology
Nova Scotia's only black MLA is calling on the province to formally apologize for its past treatment of blacks.
Percy Paris, the New Democrat representative for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank, says Nova Scotians of African descent deserve an apology for centuries of systemic discrimination that denied them access to health care, justice and education.
"We've been here for a long time and it's something that's overdue," he said Wednesday night.
Other ethnic groups that have suffered injustices have been granted similar recognition by the federal government, Paris said, and there's no reason the province couldn't do it, too.
But Barry Barnet, the minister responsible for African-Nova Scotian Affairs, would only commit to thinking about it.
"I would have to get a better understanding of exactly what it is we're being asked to apologize for and what the legal ramifications are," Barnet said.
The minister said his office is working hard to solve some of the long-standing problems faced by black Nova Scotians, as well as reaching a deal to make amends for the destruction of Africville, a black community in Halifax that was bulldozed in the 1960s.
Paris said he would continue to push for an apology.
"To me, an apology like that would go a long way," he said.