Ontario Senator Don Meredith is honoured to be the first Jamaican to serve in the Senate of Canada. He is the fourth person of African descent to be appointed to the Senate. He was appointed to the Senate of Canada on December 18, 2010.
He is a businessman and community advocate, and a devoted champion of youth empowerment. Senator Meredith has guided the development of a National Youth Strategy which delivered the first-ever live-streamed Youth Summit from Parliament Hill to engage young people and stakeholders from coast-to-coast on pressing issues.
In 2002, he co-founded the Greater Toronto Faith Alliance Centre (GTAFA) where he continues to serve as volunteer Executive Director to help deliver solutions to local youth crime and violence. The GTAFA Centre engages, encourages and empowers marginalized youth, adults and newcomers.
His duties as a Parliamentarian include serving on the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence and the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples. He also co-chairs the Canada-CARICOM Parliamentary Friendship Group, the Canada-Falun Gong Parliamentary Friendship Group, and he is an Executive Board member of the Canada-Mexico Parliamentary Friendship Group. Through his work, he aims to build stronger cultural and commercial ties with Canada’s allies and encourage the Government and the international community to better respond to global emergencies.
Senator Meredith has advanced many initiatives to recognize the contributions of Black Canadians and minorities in Canada. He introduced and passed Bill S-213, An Act respecting Lincoln Alexander Day, to annually recognize January 21 as Lincoln Alexander Day across Canada; a time to honour and remember the first black Canadian to be elected as Member of Parliament in the House of Commons, to be appointed as Cabinet minister, and to be appointed as Lieutenant Governor. He has also spearheaded efforts to erect a national monument in honour of the military sacrifice of Black Canadians, and he hosts an annual Remembrance Day ceremony to mark the legacy of Black service men and woman throughout Canadian history.
Prior to his Senate appointment, Don Meredith was an active advocate working to counter gun and youth violence. He served as co-chair of the Black Community Police Consultative Committee; a member of the York Region Police Chief's Advisory Council; a member of the York Regional Community Police Liaison and as a member of the RCMP Consultative Committee. He was also a member of the Toronto Police Service Chief’s Advisory Service and the B’Nai Brith Canada Special Advisory Council to the League for Human Rights.
Senator Meredith was invested into the prestigious Order of St. John; and commissioned an Ambassador of Peace for the Universal Peace Federation. He also holds a Nelson Mandela Humanitarian Award for his contributions to the promotion of diversity; the 2006 Urban Leadership Award from the Canadian Urban Institute; The Vaughan African Canadian Association Award of Excellence, The University of Toronto Advancement Achievement Award; and the 2015 Aroni Award for Youth Organization for his work with the GTAFA.