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

So far, B.C., Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and the Northwest Territories have said they will recognize the statutory holiday.
2021-08-1 every child matters DB
St. Anne's residential school survivor George Rose carries the 'Every Child Matters' banner.

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

The federal bill creating the federal statutory holiday to commemorate the tragic legacy of residential schools in Canada received royal assent in June and made Sept. 30 the first annual national day for truth and reconciliation.

The statutory holiday will be for employees in the federal government and federally regulated workplaces.

A statement from the province said 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.”

Employers and employees could agree to treat this day as a statutory holiday, the statement added.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault said in June there were no plans to add a statutory holiday. That position hasn’t changed, said Mathieu Durocher, spokesman for Indigenous Affairs Minister Ian Lafreniere.

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

When the federal holiday was originally created in June, Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault told the Senate that the objective is to create a chance for Canadians to learn about and reflect on a dark chapter in their country’s history and to commemorate the survivors, their families and their communities — as called for by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Indigenous leaders.