QUEENS PARK – Politics – The Ontario Government has announced that September will not be a stat holiday in the province for the new National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
In Ontario it will be a federal holiday but not a provincial one.
A spokesperson for Indigenous Affairs Minister Greg Rickford commented, “National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is not a provincial public holiday this year. Employers and employees may agree to treat this day as such, and some may be required to do so if it has been negotiated into collective agreements or employment contracts. Federally regulated employees, such as federal government and bank employees, are governed by the Canada Labour Code.”
“Ontario is working in collaboration with Indigenous partners, survivors and affected families to ensure the respectful commemoration of this day within the province, similar to Remembrance Day.”
Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Official Opposition New Democrats, and NDP MPP Sol Mamakwa, critic for Indigenous and Treaty Relations, released the following statement:
“The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will be a stat holiday in Ontario when the NDP forms government. Sept. 30 will be held as a solemn and significant day for reflection, for education and, most importantly, a day for concrete commitments and action towards equity and justice for Indigenous people.
Declaring Sept. 30 a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is one of the 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The day commemorates the tragic genocidal legacy of residential schools in Canada, and the continuing harm. It’s shameful that the Doug Ford government is refusing the solemn duty to remember, to learn, and to work for change.
For all Ontarians, making Sept. 30 a stat holiday is a critical move forward in the difficult work that needs to be done to revive reconciliation.”
The Ontario NDP Caucus has already confirmed for all its staff that the day will be a paid day off.”