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Montreal, June 12, 2015 — “I was proud to be in attendance this morning for the unanimous adoption of Bill 493 by the Members of the National Assembly. This law provides that the 11th of February will be declared Nelson Mandela Day in Québec, a day upon which all Quebecers will be invited to promote and celebrate the values of freedom, justice, equality and fraternity among peoples,” said the spokesperson of the Committee, Ms. Myrlande Pierre.

Earlier in March of this year, Mr. Maka Kotto, spokesperson of the official Opposition for immigration together with Ms. Christine St-Pierre, Minister for International Relations and the Francophonie and Members of the National Assembly, Sylvie Roy and Amir Khadir, filed a motion that was unanimously adopted by the Assembly on February 26th, 2015. All these four MNAs were present today to celebrate the adoption of the bill with Ms. Pierre.

This bill stems from an initiative of a citizens’ committee who, in February 2014, submitted two proposals to the National Assembly and the Government of Québec in order to establish a permanent and recurrent celebration of the universal legacy of Nelson Mandela in the province of Québec. The various political parties and about thirty community organizations had signed a statement in support of the citizens’ committee request in February 2014.

Once adopted, the bill will encourage civil society, and the City of Montreal in particular, to celebrate the late President’s legacy.

Mr. Mandela came to Montreal in June 1990 less than six months after his prison release as part of his world tour to countries that had fought for the overthrow of the Apartheid government. During the 1970’s and 1980’s, Montreal was at the forefront of the Canadian movement against Apartheid in South Africa. While in Montreal, he visited the Union United Church, the oldest Black church in Quebec, acknowledging the key role played by Black and other Montrealers in the struggle for global and domestic racial justice.

The citizens' committee is made up of Myrlande Pierre, Jean-Claude Icart, Fo Niemi, and Brenda Paris.

To follow the debates on the National Assembly (in French only):

Read Bill 493:

Bill 493.pdf86.09 KB