Victoria – The City of Victoria is no longer planning to host a virtual Canada Day celebration on July 1 and will instead produce a broadcast focused on wider Canadian history, with guidance from local Leukungen people.
The city says the broadcast will be released later in the summer and will consider “what it means to be Canada”.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said on Thursday: “When the bodies of those 215 children were discovered, the context changed and they (Lekwungen Nation) are in panic and everyone is in panic.” “We’re all just trying our best to figure out how to move forward.”
Visitors to a residential school memorial on the steps of the BC legislature on Thursday largely agreed with the city’s assessment.
“It’s very hard to feel proud in Canada these days, so yes, I think it’s a good idea to cancel it for this year,” said island resident Margo Taylor-Richie.
“Maybe this year Canada Day should be in memory of all residential school survivors and victims,” said Jennifer Gray, another resident.
Similar calls are being made across the country to cancel this year’s Canada Day celebrations.
#cancelcanadaday is gaining ground on social media, and indigenous group Idol No More has planned several rallies across the country on July 1.
“I appreciate groups that take the time and energy and courage to really show that there are other ways and other explanations – and not pretending that life is as it was yesterday or the day before, Priscilla Setty, Professor of Indigenous Studies at the University of Saskatchewan.
The Council of Victoria voted unanimously to change the broadcast of Canada Day at a council meeting on Thursday.
In May, prior to the discovery of the remains of children in Kamloops, Victoria was seeking applicants to produce a virtual Canada Day event, as it did in 2020.
At the time, the budget for the virtual event was $65,000.