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TORONTO – Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario will once again celebrate Emancipation Day by participating in Toronto’s Carnival Grand Parade.

The annual event attracts more than one million people from across North America and this year’s contingent will include CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn and Veriline Howe, CUPE Ontario’s diversity vice-president for racialized workers.

“For us, Carnival is truly a community event. Hundreds of people, including dozens of CUPE Ontario members, spend months together building costumes and building a strong community,” said Hahn. “It’s fitting, as our members work every day across this city and across this province, in municipalities, health care, social services, universities and schools, providing services that support our communities.”

This year, CUPE Ontario once again teamed up with Whitfield Belasco and Concept Costume Creators for a spectacular entry that will involve a hundred dancers in a colourful display that represents education and diversity.

“The parade is a spectacular end to a summer of work together,” said CUPE Ontario Diversity Vice-President, Racialized Workers, Veriline Howe. “At Carnival, we join together to celebrate, but also to educate about the historic ties between Carnival and the end of slavery, and also to let people know how CUPE Ontario stands up for fairness for racialized workers.”

In Toronto, Carnival takes place on Ontario’s Emancipation Day long weekend. Emancipation Day marks the Slavery Abolition Act, which ended slavery across the British Empire 180 years ago, on August 1, 1834. It coincides with Simcoe Day, named for Lt.Gov. John Graves Simcoe, who passed an Act Against Slavery in 1793, ultimately leading to the end of slavery in Upper Canada (now Ontario).

CUPE is Ontario’s community union, with members providing quality public services we all rely on, in every part of the province, every day. CUPE Ontario members are proud to work in social services, health care, municipalities, school boards, universities and airlines.


For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact:

Craig Saunders, CUPE Communications, 416-576-7316

[email protected]