Canada's National Day For Truth & Reconciliation Is This Month But Not Everyone Gets It Off

It's a new holiday to honour survivors and commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools.

Trending Senior Staff Writer
Canada's National Day For Truth & Reconciliation Is This Month But Not Everyone Gets It Off

September 30 has been officially designated as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation by the federal government but that doesn't mean everyone gets the holiday off.

This all comes from a call to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which called for a statutory holiday to be made to ensure that public commemoration of the history and the legacy of residential schools remains a key part of the reconciliation process, as well as to honour First Nations, Inuit and Métis survivors, their families and communities as well.

The stat holiday applies to employees in federally regulated private sector workplaces, most federal crown corporations and the federal public sector.

For the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the federally regulated industries and workplaces that get the stat holiday include:

  • air transportation including airlines, airports, aerodromes and aircraft operations
  • banks including authorized foreign banks
  • grain elevators, feed and seed mills, feed warehouses and grain-seed cleaning plants
  • first Nations Band Councils including certain community services on reserve)
  • most federal Crown corporations including Canada Post
  • port services, marine shipping, ferries, tunnels, canals, bridges and pipelines (oil and gas) that cross international or provincial borders
  • radio and television broadcasting
  • railways that cross international or provincial borders and some short-line railways
  • road transportation services including trucks and buses that cross provincial or international borders
  • telecommunications including telephone, internet, telegraph and cable systems
  • uranium mining and processing and atomic energy
  • any business that is vital, essential or integral to the operation of one of the above activities

Also, the federally regulated public sector includes the federal public service and Parliament.

People who don't work in any of those industries might not get the day off because the government of Canada can't implement a stat holiday for all Canadian employees since most of them are subjected to provincial and territorial employment standards.

For more workers to get the day off, provincial and territorial governments would need to make changes to their own labour legislation to adopt the holiday.

As of September 8, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories and Yukon have recognized the holiday for some workers and schools will be closed on September 30. Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and New Brunswick have not adopted the holiday while B.C. has only advised provincial public sector employers to honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Ontario will not make it a provincial statutory holiday but officials told CTV News that employers can treat the day like one.

Other provinces and territories have either not made a decision yet or have not released any information about adopting the holiday.

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Lisa Belmonte
Trending Senior Staff Writer
Lisa Belmonte is a Senior Staff Writer for Narcity Canada’s Trending Desk focused on government of Canada jobs and is based in Ontario.
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