• Don Oliver Receives 2023 Weldon Award for Unselfish Public Service
    Honourable public service is at the core of Don Oliver’s (LLB ’64, LLD ’03) family DNA. “I got the need and the desire to give back from my parents and my grandparents,” he says. “They taught me that no matter how poor you were, you always gave back to the church or to somebody else in need.” Following his family’s example, the trailblazing lawyer, businessman, and senator has devoted his life to helping others less fortunate than himself by confronting racial injustice and breaking down […]
  • An Evening With Senator Donald H. Oliver At Saint Mary’s University
    Publication By Saint Mary’s University In partnership with Nimbus publishing, Saint Mary’s University is pleased to present an evening with the Honourable Donald H. Oliver CM ONS QC LLD’13. A tireless champion for diversity, pluralism, fairness and equality, he was the first black male to sit in the Senate and the second black Canadian appointed to the chamber. Senator Oliver continues to connect with the African-Canadian community to provide encouragement, advice, guidance and mentoring […]
  • Want post-pandemic business success? Don Oliver says start with diversity
    Posted on March 21, 2022 | Atlantic Business Magazine Nearly 20 years ago, Canada’s first Black Senator was asked by a bank president in Toronto for proof the company was discriminating against Black people or was not valuing Black talent. Was the bank really not valuing diversity? Prove it, was the demand, unfairly shifting the onus while making reference to Don Oliver’s work as a lawyer.     It marked the start of an extraordinary personal effort by Oliver that produced what […]
  • Black history Month 2021
    As a Black History Month Pioneer, I sense there’s something quite different, exciting and encouraging about the way it has been celebrated this year. What Jean Augustine got the House of Commons to adopt and what I got the Senate of Canada to unanimously adopt on March 4, 2008, (so the the Parliament of Canada could speak), was to “ recognize the contributions of Black Canadians “ and that February be recognized as Black History month. In Nova Scotia our history can be traced back 400 years so […]
  • It’s time to end white privilege and white supremacy in Corporate Canada
    For the first time in Canadian history, Corporate Canada must now face, address and remove white privilege from all aspects of business. It is the next logical and mandated step in the war against anti-Black systemic racism in Canada. We’ve heard the speeches, felt the rage, understood the anger, watched and sympathized with the marches and protests and we now finally realize, deep down, that Black lives matter. American writer James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time is still right; it’s time to […]
  • Trudeau can do a lot to stop anti-Black racism, especially right now
    Speaking to Americans last week, in the midst of protests and civil unrest across the United States, Barack Obama said in a nationally broadcast town hall, “I’ve heard some people say, ‘You have a pandemic, then you have these protests; this reminds us of the sixties, and the chaos, the discord and distrust across the country.’ I know enough about that history to say there is something different.” And he’s right. There is something is different. Around the world, hundreds of thou-sands of […]
  • Trudeau must understand anti-Black racism has to stop, and he’s got the power to help stop it
    Both Canada and the United States are each deeply embroiled in the largest pandemic of anti-Black systemic racism since the height of the Martin Luther King civil rights movement that featured vicious attack dogs, and the brutal beatings, shootings, and murders by whites and by police of unarmed, innocent Black, men, women and children. Only now, with the internet, technology, and social media, millions and millions of eyes from around the world are watching the United States. People are also […]
  • COVID-19 And African Canadians:  a festering, unresolved problem
    COVID-19 has bluntly shown all of us that African-Canadian front-line essential workers have been disproportionally affected with this highly contagious and deadly virus, even without supporting comprehensive scientific data. We now know that visible minority researchers throughout Canada have been demanding the collection of race-based and socio-economic data for years, because it is required to determine future public policy and, specifically, now for the containment of COVID-19. And […]
  • From a friendship to a legacy
    This article originally appeared on on February 27, 2020 When The Honourable Don Oliver (LLB ‘64), retired Senator, met Wade Dawe at a business conference in 2009, he could not have imagined it would lead to a lifelong friendship, much less a gift made by Dawe to the Dalhousie Performing Arts Campaign in Senator Oliver’s name. “I know Wade believes in giving back, and he has done amazing things in support of the community, but it still took me by surprise that he thought to do something […]
  • Valentines Day
    For Linda Oliver, February 14th, 2020 was not a year for a celebratory meal at a five star French restaurant with Champagne and roses. Instead, we went to the 1600 seat Ikeda Theatre in the well known Mesa Arts Center just outside Phoenix for an unforgivable two hour recital with Renee Fleming and Gerald Martin Moore, Piano.. It was a rare two hours that spontaneously brought you to tears of sheer joy as we heard her exceptional talent, and it also made us jump to our feet for a richly deserved […]
  • There’s a gaping hole in our democracy
    This Op-Ed originally appeared in The Hill Times on June 19, 2019. As the United Nations puts it, for far too many Canadians, anti-Black racism, discrimination and inequality are part of their daily lives. It reaches into our democratic institutions. Canada was once the envy of the world with our legislation on multiculturalism, tolerance, and ethnic fairness. But our democracy, indeed all our democratic institutions, have failed us because, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said,” our […]
  • Black Canadian Youth: Boundless, Rooted and Proud
    February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate and remember all the ways that Black Canadians have contributed to Canada’s history and culture. This year’s theme is Black Canadian Youth: Boundless, Rooted and Proud, which recognizes how Black Canadian youth have helped shape our Canadian heritage, culture and identity. Test your knowledge on the achievements of Black Canadians by playing an online trivia quiz. A certificate and a thank you memento will be presented to one successful […]
  • We Still Need a Black History Month
    EDITORIAL  FEBRUARY 1, 2019 The Athenaeum Some valley thoughts on Black History month. Black History Month in Canada has had some recent powerful successes. There’s a growing, greater understanding and appreciation of the intrinsic value of Black contributions, in science, business, education, music, sports, and public policy throughout our nation. These advances in heightening the awareness in our country to the contributions of African Canadians is perhaps best understood by our secondary […]
  • Thoughts on My 80th Birthday Celebrations
    I turned 80 on the 16th of November, 2018. But this was by no means a unique happening. Millions of people from around the world have reached 80 years and, indeed, lived a lot longer, but for me it was a very special milestone. When the bells sound 3 score and 20, something magical seems to happen. At midnight, November 15, stepping out of that Septuagenarian (70-79) mould into Octogenarian was shockingly different. It’s not as though I had suddenly become an elder statesman, but rather I […]
  • Birthday Greetings
    We have received dozens of emails, letters, notes, poems, telephone calls, social media notes, and greetings from across the country and I wanted to share a few of them (particularly some political and public service ones) with you. I also want to thank David Young, my friend from the Wolfville High School class of 1956 who notified many of our classmates who notes and remembrances I really enjoyed reading. Like William Barclay , Don is a life-long student and many have benefited from his […]
  • Senate administration’s efforts on diversity should be applauded
    EDITORIAL  JULY 4, 2018 Hill Times The Senate has come a long way since the early 2000s. Back then, Conservative Senator Donald Oliver charged that the Senate’s administration-and the public service, in general-was rife with systemic racism. “The Senate’s lack of diversity is so glaring and so problematic to the future of our institution that it heightens the desire of many Canadians to have our Upper Chamber abolished because it is irrelevant and unrepresentative of […]
  • Celebrating and sustaining Canadian engagement in international development
    An article by Don Oliver in the Hill Times. Overseas volunteers have borne witness to challenges that have a long-term impact on all of us—poverty, sexual violence, the rise of religious fundamentalism, and terrorism. We know the need is great, writes retired Senator Donald Oliver….. D. Oliver Vol Cooperation Op-Ed Hill Times-1 […]
  • Feds should be proactive on UN report that slams Canada for its history of racist policies
    The federal government should indeed create a Department of African-Canadian Affairs and develop a strategy to address anti-black racism in the criminal justice system .PUBLISHED : Monday, Oct. 2, 2017 12:00 AM Donald Oliver says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should address to UN General Assembly to talk about Canada’s overt racism, race hatred, stereotyping, economic disadvantage, injustice and unfairness directed at black African Canadians.The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster […]