This is why schools and universities aren't closed on September 30 in Ontario
Are schools closed on September 30 in Ontario? It's a question students and parents across the province have been asking ever since the federal government established the date as National Truth and Reconciliation Day, and the answer is unfortunately no.
The new holiday was made official in July and is meant to be a solemn day for Canadians to reflect on and commemorate the shameful legacy of residential schools in this country.
But the Ontario government claimed to not have received any guidance on what to do for that day, and it confirmed earlier this month that it would therefore not make the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a provincial public holiday this year.
Doug Ford not supporting making September 30 a provincial statutory holiday in Ontario despite the Canadian government passing legislation recognizing it as a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We need to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools pic.twitter.com/9hPvMkbecE— Supporting Support Workers (@PSW_Advocacy) September 9, 2021
That means only federally-regulated businesses and organizations must give workers the day off, and it also means schools and universities will remain open for regular operations.
Ontario has said it will still observe the holiday without making it a stat, however, similar to Remembrance Day.
Still, the decision not to recognize September 30 as a provincial public holiday in Ontario has been met with outrage and disappointment from Indigenous leaders and advocates.
The holiday was established this summer in response to its initial proposal in 2015 by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
The 80th call to action called upon the federal government, in collaboration with Indigenous peoples, to establish a statutory holiday "to honour 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."
Ontarians will still be encouraged to reflect on Canada's treatment of Indigenous peoples and the legacy of residential schools on September 30, but most will unfortunately have to do so from work or school.
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