National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to become stat holiday in B.C.

Authors: Alizeh Virani, Catrina Thompson, Graham Christie

The Government of British Columbia has joined other provinces and territories that have designated the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a statutory holiday.

On February 7, the province announced it was introducing legislation that would make September 30 a provincial statutory holiday. By enacting this legislation, the province said it hopes more British Columbians will have opportunities to engage in reconciliation activities.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was created in response to Call to Action No. 80 from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which asked the federal government to create a holiday to commemorate the legacy of residential schools and the strength and resilience of survivors. For years, Indigenous leaders have advocated for public recognition of the harms caused by residential schools, Indian Day Schools, Indian hospitals and the Sixties Scoop.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation offers an opportunity to reflect on the experiences of residential school survivors while honouring the strength, resilience and contributions of Indigenous communities.

With September 30 soon to become a statutory holiday in B.C., employers in the province will be required to treat the day as a paid holiday for employees. Should you have any questions about how this will impact your organization, contact a member of our Labour & Employment team.

Note: This article is of a general nature only and is not exhaustive of all possible legal rights or remedies. In addition, laws may change over time and should be interpreted only in the context of particular circumstances such that these materials are not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice or opinion. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation.