Canada’s first national day for truth and reconciliation will take place on September 30th. A bill creating a statutory holiday to commemorate the tragic legacy of residential schools received royal assent Thursday. Bill C5 received fast-track approval after last week’s grisly discovery in Kamloops, BC of what are believed to be the remains of 215 Indigenous children in unmarked graves at the site of a former residential school. The bill creates a statutory holiday for employees in the federal government and federally regulated workplaces.
In response to one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, and to commemorate the legacy of residential schools, we introduced legislation to make September 30th the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – and this evening, it received Royal Assent. https://t.co/FeIs80DwZX
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 4, 2021
The country’s chief justice says judges must be alert to the history and experiences of Indigenous peoples — and should make the same commitment to those of other cultures and communities. In a recent speech to Ontario judges, Richard Wagner said that in a country as diverse as Canada, anyone who sits on the bench needs to respectfully and comfortably relate to people of various cultures. Wagner also admitted that acknowledging personal biases can be an uncomfortable exercise, but ultimately it is an enlightening one.
Photo Credit: House of Commons