sept 30 stat holiday

Ontario won't recognize new September 30 holiday as a stat

Though the Canadian government has declared September 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Ontario will not be honouring the date as a stat holiday, which takes place for the first time ever this year after the discovery of the remains of thousands of Indigenous children on the grounds of former residential schools nationwide.

The day is meant to address the "heavy toll of our colonial past" and prompt reflection and learning, Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said back in June when the day was announced, calling it "an important step in the path toward reconciliation, which won't be achieved in the blink of an eye."

The 80th call to action in the damning six-volume final report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, released in 2015, asked that Ottawa establish a day to "honour [residential school] survivors, their families and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process."

And though Sept. 30 — the same date as Orange Shirt Day, which marks the same tragic legacy — will remain a stat holiday for federally-regulated workplaces and employees, the rest of us in Ontario will not necessarily be getting the day off.

The province confirmed to CTV News on Wednesday night that the day "is not a provincial public holiday this year," though "employers and employees may agree to treat this day as such" depending on contracts and negotiations.

A spokesperson said that Ontario will be treating the day much like Remembrance Day, which is also not a public holiday but which people typically pause to observe with a moment of silence while at work or school.

Provinces such as Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have likewise said that they won't be recognizing the date as a provincial statutory holiday.

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