BC to make Truth and Reconciliation Day a stat holiday for all workers

Feb 7 2023, 7:43 pm

BC is set to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Day as a paid statutory holiday for all workers in the province.

The statutory holiday falls on September 30 every year, and 2023 will be the first year it’s considered an official statutory holiday, Labour Minister Harry Bains said.

“This will give more people the chance to honour the strength and resilience of residential school survivors, and remember the children who never came home,” Bains said.

The legislation has not yet received Royal Assent, but once it does — as it’s expected to, given BC’s NDP majority — it will become law.

Previous to this, only BC government and public sector employees were given the day off. Businesses in the private sector could choose whether to grant employees the day off.

BC joins Prince Edward Island, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon in recognizing the day as a statutory holiday.

“One day there will be no survivors left in Canada. What is forgotten is often repeated,” said Phyllis Webstad with Orange Shirt Day Society in a news release. “With the federal government passing legislation to make Orange Shirt Day, September 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and now the BC provincial government announcing this legislation today, it will help to ensure that what happened to us will never happen again and will never be forgotten.”

Before September 30 was recognized as a holiday by the federal government in 2021, it was known as Orange Shirt Day. Many people still wear orange shirts on September 30 to honour the victims of the residential school system.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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