september 30

People outraged that Ontario and workplaces won't consider September 30 a stat holiday

It's now been confirmed that Ontario is among the Canadian provinces that won't be recognizing September 30 as a stat holiday despite the fact that the federal government has deemed it National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

This is the first year observing the new occasion, which was created in June for residents to pause and reflect on the country's painful legacy of residential schools, especially after the remains of thousands of children were found in unmarked graves at various school sites in recent months.

The province has said it plans to mark the day similar to Remembrance Day, which is also not a stat in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba or Nova Scotia but for which most people dedicate a moment of silence, wear poppies or observe in other ways.

While those in federally-regulated workplaces won't have to go into their jobs on Sept. 30, it is up to other employers to decide if and how they want to recognize the day up to and including letting staff have a paid day off.

Some have already made up their minds — such as Loblaw Companies, which is facing backlash from its workers for refusing to honour National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

"It seems Loblaw Companies, unable to make the right decision on their own, waited until Doug Ford made the wrong decision — announcing yesterday that Ontario won't be adding September 30 to its statutory paid holidays either — before simply following his lead," the union representing Loblaw employees wrote in a statement today.

"These decisions are particularly insulting to generations of Indigenous Peoples and dismissive of the legacy of residential schools and cultural genocide in this country... We are asking Loblaw to rethink this decision... and allow our members the time to reflect on Truth and Reconciliation in their own way."

In the case of unionized vocations, respective agreements may indeed mean that companies will have to offer members the day off. But that rule certainly won't apply across the board for everyone in Ontario or in provinces such as Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, which likewise won't be recognizing the date as a provincial stat.

B.C., Nova Scotia and Manitoba are, on the other hand, meaning schools, non-essential provincial government services and other settings will be closed. Regina is likewise giving all its city staff a break for the day, though its province is not observing the holiday.

While there has been much censure of both individual workplaces and also the provincial government for not marking the day in the way the federal government intended, there are also those who feel that it is actually better that people will have to go to work.

"Most people wouldn't acknowledge other than a day off. I have to work and we will spend time talking about it at work, as will schools," one person noted on Twitter.

"I'd like the kids to be in school learning the importance of the day instead of just slacking," another likewise added.

Lead photo by

@michael_swan


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