Change the Name of Russell, ON - Currently Named After a Slave Owner

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Russell, Ontario is a small town outside of Ottawa that many call home. However, the town itself has been named after Peter Russell, a corrupt politician who owned slaves and actively fought against the abolition of slavery in Canada. Renaming this town will be a small first step towards equity and justice for Canada’s BIPOC population. 

‘Peter Russell was the Administrator of Upper Canada (aka Ontario) from 1796 to 1799. He was notable for his strong advocacy in support of slavery. Not only did he own and torture slaves, but he managed to water down a law to abolish slavery. Other lawmakers wanted to make slavery illegal, and Russell managed to make sure it didn’t apply to the slaves currently owned in Ontario (he owned 2/3rd of the slaves in Toronto at one point). He also made sure that the children of slaves would have to wait until age 25 to be freed.’ [via Denis Agar]

We are asking our representatives to change the name of Russell to something that reflects our values as a town, province and country.