For immediate release
London, Ontario, February 22, 2013 – Susan Truppe, Member of Parliament for London North Centre and Parliamentary Secretary for Status of Women, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, today announced that the Government of Canada building located at 451 Talbot Street, London, Ontario, will be named the Richard Pierpoint Building in recognition of his contribution during the War of 1812.
“I am delighted that this building is being named in honour of Richard Pierpoint, who played a crucial role in the War of 1812 by helping spearhead the creation of an all-Black militia unit that fought in several major battles,” Minister Ambrose stated. “As we celebrate Black History Month, it is a time to remember that the Canada we know today—a rich, prosperous and diverse nation—is a result of efforts and sacrifices made by its people of various descents, including Black Canadians.”
The building was built in 1976. It is currently used by the Canada Border Services Agency, Canada Revenue Agency, Industry Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
During the naming ceremony, MP Truppe unveiled a commemorative plaque that will adorn the building. “Richard Pierpoint was a former slave who came to Canada to live in freedom. Despite already being in his sixties when the War of 1812 broke out, he volunteered to help defend that freedom and took his place beside thousands of other early Canadians,” said MP Truppe.
This event is part of several commemoration activities taking place to mark the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. The anniversary is an opportunity for all Canadians to take pride in our country’s traditions and history. The end of the war laid the foundation for Confederation and Canada’s ultimate emergence as an independent nation in North America.
Richard Pierpoint played an important role in the War of 1812 by helping spearhead the creation of an all-Black militia unit that fought in several major battles. This unit, known as the “Coloured Corps,” along with other militia units from the York and Lincoln districts, played a key role in the victory of the Battle of Queenston Heights. The Coloured Corps also fought at the Battle of Fort George and worked on the construction of vital fortifications as many of the men had skills in carpentry and masonry. Today, Lincoln militia units, including the Coloured Corps, are perpetuated by the Lincoln and Welland Regiment of the Canadian Army.
Richard Pierpoint’s efforts helped pave the way for the Canada we know today—an independent and free country with a constitutional monarchy, its own parliamentary system and a strong respect for diversity.
For more information on Richard Pierpoint and the War of 1812, please visit 1812.gc.ca.
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