Provincial holiday for awareness, reflection on long-awaited Aboriginal history: provincial deputy

It’s high time we had a provincial holiday to remember Canada’s colonial history and reflect on the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, said Timmins MPP Gilles Bisson.

Starting this year, September 30 will mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

In June, legislation was passed to make September 30, which is already recognized as Orange Shirt Day, a federal holiday. It was created in response to one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action.

Federal agencies and most crown corporations will be closed for this.

While Ontario has announced that the day will not be a provincial holiday, some municipalities are highlighting it.

Bisson said the day will give people the opportunity to raise awareness, reflect on the ‘good and bad’ between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples and reflect on how to move forward to build a better future. .

The MPP said he did not understand why Premier Doug Ford had not made September 30 a public holiday in the province.

“There is no good reason for them to say no. I think that sends exactly the wrong message that Mr. Ford and the Conservatives need to send to the rest of our communities, aboriginal and non-aboriginal, ”said Bisson. “Because there are a lot of people in our communities who support this concept, who want to do better when it comes to First Nations. I think Mr. Ford on this one is offside.

At a press conference on Tuesday, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called on Ford and Indigenous Affairs Minister Greg Rickford to mark September 30 and make it a holiday in the province to honor those affected through residential schools and recognize the continuing trauma.

Horwath was joined by MLA Kiiwetinoong Sol Mamakwa and MLA for Central Toronto Suze Morrison.

“In order for us to honor the lives lost, recognize and identify the responsibility of Canadians, the government of the day had in regards to the use of the tools of genocide against Indigenous peoples. And make sure you never forget, ”Horwath said at the press conference. “We can’t just walk away from it. We must always remember, and this day will help us to do so. ”

The Ontario NDP caucus made September 30 a paid day off for all its staff and would make it a province-wide holiday if elected in the June 2022 provincial election, according to the party’s press release.

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