National Day for Truth and Reconciliation won’t be an Ontario provincial holiday

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The Ontario government says the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Day will not be a provincial public holiday this year.

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A federal bill making Canada a federal statutory holiday to commemorate the tragic legacy of residential schools received royal assent in June and made September 30 the first annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Statutory leave will be for employees of federal government and federally regulated workplaces.

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A statement from the province said Ontario is “working in collaboration with Indigenous partners, survivors and affected families to ensure a respectful commemoration of this day within the province, similar to the Day of Remembrance.”

The employer and employee may agree to treat this day as a statutory holiday, the statement said.

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So far, BC, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and the Northwest Territories have said they will recognize the statutory holiday.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault said in June that there were no plans to add a statutory holiday. Matthew Durocher, spokesman for Indigenous Affairs Minister Ian Lafrenier, said the situation had not changed.

In the Atlantic, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador all told The Canadian Press that they would not observe the day at the provincial level.

When originally made a federal holiday in June, Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guillebault told the Senate that it was intended for Canadians to learn about and reflect on a dark chapter in their country’s history, and for the survivors, their Give families a chance to remember. Their communities – as called by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Indigenous leaders.

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