This past Monday, April 1, the city mourned the passing of civil rights advocate Dan Philip, at the age of 88. Dan Philip, former president of the Black Coalition of Quebec, was renowned for his unwavering commitment to justice and the defense of the rights of the Black community. He embodied and exercised leadership that significantly transformed the Black Coalition over several decades, championing the aspirations of the Black community. As a true pillar of the community, Dan Philip represented not only Afro-descendants but also an ideal that resonated with and was embraced by many Quebecers.
The news of his death was shared by the Ligue des Noirs du Québec in a statement where Dan Philip is described as a distinguished and recognized character for his commitment and fight for justice and the -00defense of human rights.
His passing leaves behind an immense legacy of remarkable actions in support of promoting and defending fundamental rights, security, and freedoms in Quebec. Dan will be remembered for his instrumental role in ensuring that Quebec authorities acknowledged and acted upon the recommendations of coroners’ reports concerning the wrongful deaths of Black men at the hands of Montreal police officers.
Despite his tireless, and sometimes controversial approach, Dan was always willing to dedicate his time and express his brutally frank opinions on police and social injustices, always in the public interest. He was a much sought after expert for many of Montreal’s media outlets. Through his passion, Dan forged alliances with other resource organizations to collectively address numerous issues for the betterment of Quebec society.
Born on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia in 1939, Dan Philip migrated to the USA in the late 1960s to pursue his studies. His activism and dedication to social justice in Canada date back to 1974 when he joined the Black Coalition of Canada and the Black Community
Council of Quebec, the then-umbrella social advocacy organization for the Black community.
In 1977, he became involved in the fight for workers’ rights as a member of the Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ), eventually serving on its executive committee. Dan emerged as a leading figure in the anti-apartheid movement in the city, spearheading efforts to persuade various institutions, including the City of Montreal, to divest from South Africa.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, he advocated on  behalf of individuals from the English-speaking Caribbean, Haiti, and Africa whose immigration applications were stalled in bureaucratic processes, lobbying both provincial and federal governments. In the early 1980s, he collaborated with other social justice advocates to support Haitian drivers in their struggle against discrimination and racism in the taxi industry.
More recently, Dan organized bus trips with community members and organizations to the Vermont border to visit and experience sites such as Nigger Rock, which included tours of underground jails. In recognition of his lifelong activism, advocacy, and service to Quebec and Canada, Dan Philip was honored with numerous awards and accolades, including the Rosa Parks Award by the Quebec Human Rights Commission
His niece, Rosie Philip was devasted by the news of his passing. She spoke to the CONTACT in the wake of his passing and described him, “as a hardworker and an
activist for justice.”
Former Montreal city councillor Marvin Rotrand remembered Philip
fondly, saying he knew how to appeal to people’s better instincts and build bridges between communities.
Philip also believed in the power of education and pushed the province to reckon with its history of slavery, Rotrand is quoted as saying.
“Before I met Dan, he had already almost single-handedly changed Quebec by fighting overt discrimination.”
“His sudden death will leave no one indifferent because he was not only a distinguished character recognized for his commitment and his fight for justice and the defence of rights,” the Black Coalition of Quebec said in a statement on their website.
He will surely be missed and his impact continues to be felt.


SALUTES MR. DAN PHILIP, former President
Black Coalition of Quebec

Dan Philip was a civil rights activist, who for many years, was the President of the Black Coalition of Quebec, an organization that stands for defending the rights of people. In his own words

“Everything cannot be neglected. If no one says anything, the machinery of machination will deteriorate our cases. – Dan Philip”

He was unwavering and unrelenting in his fight to defend individuals, those in the Black community and other groups as well.
The members of the Caribbean Coalition Network of Montreal salute Mr. Philip for his work and dedication to making Montreal a safer place for those who felt marginalized. Mr. Philip was a native of St. Lucia, but irrespective of his creed he stood for all and we are the better for it. As an example, last October 2023, Mr. Philip was recognized by the B’Nai Brith for his support of the members of the Jewish Community. We are proud to call Mr. Philip one of our own.
The members of the Caribbean Coalition and members of our respective organizations send condolences to his family and members of the Black Coalition of Quebec.


Juleen Barrington, President, Antigua and Barbuda Association of Montreal
Cynthia Waithe, President, Barbados House Montreal
Ketlyn Maitland-Blades, President, Dominica Association of Montreal
Leebert Sancho, President, Guyana Cultural Association of Montreal
Nicole Swann, President, Grenada Nationals Association of Montreal
Mark Henry, President, Jamaica Association of Montreal
Nicole John, President, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Association of Montreal


Message of Condolences: Dan Philip, Black Coalition of Quebec

As I heard of the passing of Dan Philip, one Montreal’s stalwart fighters for justice and equality of our community, my thoughts went to the period in time when there was an extremely volatile relationship between the Montreal Police force and members of the Black community in the 90’s and early 2000’s. I lived in and through those episodes and moments. With Mr. Philip at the helm of the Black Coalition of Quebec, members of Montreal’s Black community knew that there was someone who could and would stand up to those who antagonized and suppressed our demand for an equal place in our society. Mr. Philip not only stood for the Black community but for those he understood to feel marginalized.
Dan Philip along with other champions, such as Noel Alexander, the former president of the Jamaica Association of Montreal inc., led the charge in which they made demands and where Mr. Philip, along with others, carried our calls loudly all the way to the top of the Montreal police force, through governments and the courts. Mr. Philip’s sacrifices and commitment to the cause of equality resonated in many hallways and brought forth changes in legislation and in process.
History has proven that there are men & women who are born in a certain era for important causes. Those causes most often require sacrifices to achieve dignity and rights afforded to all mankind. While at times Mr. Philip might have wondered whether it was worth his sacrifices of all he desired and dreamt, his bravery and want for the betterment for members of his community and of humankind has made him a hero and a legend that is cemented for eternity. There is a Biblical reference in the book Exodus. Moses was chosen to lead the people of Israel to the promised land of Canaan, although he did not see it, his work and dedication brought forth a legacy of one of the greatest leaders in history.
Mr. Philip’s work has manifested itself now, where we in community work, can focus on positively building with law enforcement to create a community in which citizens are held in a higher regard. We still have work to do but we are further along due to his work.
On behalf of the Jamaica Association and myself I express my deepest condolences to the family and to the members of the current board of the Black Coalition of Quebec.

Mark Henry
Jamaica Association of Montreal



Dan Philip, ex-police officer born in St. Lucia called out, exposed denounced and condemned racism, injustice and police brutality. As a member of Jamaican Association, he joined and stood up for all human rights causes and marched in disfavour against all sorts of abuses.
He zeroed in on certain racist taxi companies and proprietors who failed to rent to Blacks and received favourable results.
He denounced violence in all forms from his human heart. When 14 innocent young women were massacred at the Ecole Polytechnique, Dan visited the victims one of which was the daughter of a police officer.
At the same time was the shooting leading to the death of the unarmed Anthony Griffen by police officer. Fourteen coffins, side by side extracted tears from all our eyes. The occasion pulled from us, “Tragedy knows no borders,”
Whenever a police officer was felled in the line of duty. Dan would show up in solidarity with a heart laden with remore. He fulfilled his calling and desire, so those of us who sojourn on the surface of mother earth and will place Dan in our memory lane until we become subterranean dwellers.

Well done! An example for all!