• A Diversity Path to Prosperity for all Canadians
    Sen. Oliver gave the introductory Zoom remarks for the speakers series “a Diversity Path to Prosperity for all Canadians”, on April19, 2021. He was joined by three exceptional speakers:—Sharzad Rafati , the founder and CEO of BroadbandTV Corp, a digital media and technology company that drives monetization for current creators. Chief Terry Paul, Chief Membertou First Nation, who doubled their land base and increased employment by 80%. And thirdly Wes Hall, Founder of Kingsdale Advisors. They all spoke about the challenges they faced in rising to the pinnacle of the business world in Canada. Thank you for providing this opportunity for me to make a few remarks. The death of George Floyd was probably the greatest catalyst for change in ways to attack Anti Black systemic racism in Canada. His horrendous death at the hands of a white policeman in modern day USA was viewed in real time by millions around the Globe who, in a common internal protest said: ‘ enough is enough”. Wes Hall, [Read Full Speech...]
  • Remarks at the launch of the Conservative Black Congress of Canada
    This speech was delivered on January 24, 2021 for the launch of the Conservative Black Congress of Canada (CBCC). At this event, the CBCC unveiled the “Senator Donald Oliver Internship Program,” which offers parliamentary training to Black Conservatives. Good evening distinguished guests and friends. Thank you for that kind introduction. I am delighted to be here today. First of all I wish to congratulate and thank Dr. Leslyn Lewis for being the architect in the formation of The Conservative Black Congress of Canada. We are lucky to have her in the Conservative party. This is a great idea. We cannot afford to pass up any opportunity to encourage Blacks to caucus and particularly in a conservative context. The Congress can become the seminal organization for Conservative Black voices. It can be the key to directly reaching out to our community. I also congratulate and thank Dr. Lewis and her team for decided upon an internship program with my name on it. I am humbled and deeply [Read Full Speech...]
  • A Personal Tribute to My Aunt Portia White, Contralto
    A collection of photos and videos, including a recording of these remarks and songs in tribute to Portia White, can be found on Dropbox. On a frigid, cold and blustery day in mid February, 1968, my mother (Helena Oliver—oldest sister to Portia White) and I, flew from Halífax to Toronto to attend the funeral service for Canada’s most celebrated classical singer of the 20th Century. Portia White had died of cancer on February 13th, 1968. It was a beautiful ceremony that celebrated the life of this Nova Scotia Cultural icon. That was more than 50 years ago but it seems like yesterday because all things Portia White tend to stay with you forever. At the outset, I want to single out and publicly thank Portia’s niece, my cousin, Sheila White of Toronto for her vision, foresight, energy and enthusiasm that was instrumental in getting this important collection of Portia artifacts, memorabilia etc. here to Truro, the place of her birth. Thank you Sheila, not only from all the family, but for [Read Full Speech...]
  • Black History Month 2019
    It’s an honour to have this opportunity to talk with you about Black History Month today. In a sense, I’m sorry we still need a month set aside simply to remember the contributions of African Canadians. I will be a happy man when we no longer need it. But I remember how proud I was to stand up in the Senate of Canada and received unanimous approval from my colleagues for my resolution authorizing the Parliament of Canada to officially approve the special month. Each year I always give several speeches and interviews and write op-ed pieces on some great things our elders have done. But this year, I don’t want to retell the stories of the impressive contributions of people like Lincoln Alexander, Portia White, and Viola Desmond. Instead, today is all about our Black Youth. There is a growing, greater understanding and appreciation of the intrinsic value of Black contributions in science, business, education, music, sports, and public policy throughout Canada. In February of each year, [Read Full Speech...]
  • Breaking Down Systemic Barriers – The Business Case for Diversity
    On November 8, 2018, the Honorable Dr. Donald H. Oliver delivered the opening remarks at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s 2nd Inclusion Symposium. Read the Conference Agenda: ENG | FR Hello / Bonjour. I am honoured to welcome you all to ISED’s 2nd Inclusion Symposium, and I would like to thank Deputy Minister John Knubley for this opportunity. I am very pleased to see that the importance of diversity and inclusion – the business case for diversity – is top of mind for our leaders today. It is inspiring to know that you have come to join in and learn how to apply a diversity and inclusion lens when it comes to staffing and recruitment, as well as developing policies, programs, initiatives, events, and activities in your departments. In the early 1980’s, when I was an Advisor to the President of the Treasury Board, Robert De Cotret, on the employment of visible minorities in the public service, we made recommendations that the employment equity [Read Full Speech...]