Lincoln MacCauley Alexander, the first Black Canadian member of Parliament in the House of Commons
Lincoln MacCauley Alexander was a trailblazer in Canadian politics, breaking barriers and paving the way for future generations of Black Canadians. Born on January 21, 1922, Alexander made history in several ways throughout his career, becoming the first Black Canadian member of Parliament in the House of Commons, the first Black federal Cabinet Minister, and the first Black Chair of the Worker’s Compensation Board.
Alexander was born in Toronto, Ontario and grew up during a time when discrimination and segregation were still prevalent in Canadian society. Despite facing these challenges, he went on to serve his country with distinction, both in the military and in politics.
After serving in World War II, Alexander enrolled in law school at Osgoode Hall in Toronto. He was called to the bar in 1955 and went on to practice law for several years. In 1968, he was elected as a Member of Parliament for the riding of Hamilton West, becoming the first Black Canadian to be elected to the House of Commons.
As an MP, Alexander was a strong advocate for workers’ rights and equality, serving as the federal Minister of Labour from 1979 to 1980. He also made history as the first Black Chair of the Worker’s Compensation Board, where he worked to ensure that all workers were treated fairly and had access to the benefits they were entitled to.
Alexander was known for his warm personality, sense of humour and his ability to connect with people from all walks of life. He was a tireless advocate for equality and social justice and worked hard to break down barriers and promote inclusion.
His legacy continues to inspire future generations of Canadians, and he is remembered as a pioneer in Canadian politics and a symbol of the progress that has been made towards equality and diversity in this country.
In honour of Black History Month, it is important to remember the contributions of Lincoln MacCauley Alexander and the impact he had on Canadian society. His story is a reminder of the power of perseverance and determination in the face of adversity and the importance of fighting for equality and social justice. Alexander’s legacy continues to inspire and motivate people to strive for a better and more inclusive society for all.