Federal government creating new national statutory holiday

Aug 15 2018, 3:55 pm

The Canadian government is working on a new national stat holiday.

According to a report by the Globe and Mail, the feds are consulting with Indigenous groups on a statutory holiday to mark the “painful legacy” of Canada’s residential schools.

The government is consulting with the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), among several groups, and is looking for an appropriate date for the holiday.

The day is expected to be known as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and is one of the 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

While the original date suggested was for June 21, falling on the National Indigenous Peoples Day, the federal government was apparently concerned that it would be too close to Quebec’s annual St. Jean Baptiste Day on June 24, and also Canada Day.

Another option for the stat is Orange Shirt Day on September 30, which is when children were separated from their families to attend residential schools.

In an email to the Globe and Mail, the Department of Canadian Heritage said that the “day will be developed in consultation with the First Nations, Inuit and Métis people to ensure it is meaningful and truthful.”

Once official, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation would be a day off for federal employees, and it will be up to provinces and territories to choose to commemorate the day.