London to recognize National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, closing all city buildings

The City of London will be recognizing National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30 despite the Ontario government refusing to.

The day will be observed on Sept. 30

A rock with the message "Every Child Matters" painted on it sits at a memorial outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, in Kamloops, B.C., on Thursday, July 15, 2021. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

The City of London will recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30 as a stat holiday, despite the Ontario government refusing to. All city offices and community facilities will be closed.

The city says they decided to publicly observe the holiday to honour residential school survivors, as well as their families and communities. They see this as a crucial part of the process of reconciliation.

Inversely, the province had said they will not be recognizing the national holiday that was legislated by the federal government in June. The federal statutory holiday is one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action. 

"Education, compassion and understanding the legacy of the Indian Residential Schools and the continued impacts on Indigenous peoples, their families, their communities and cultures lies at the heart of reconciliation for all Canadians," London Mayor Ed Holder said in a media release. 

On Sept. 30, London City Hall will be lit with orange light and with the "Every Child Matters" flag raised. (James Chaarani/CBC)

In honour of the holiday, London City Hall will be donned with orange lights and they'll be raising the "Every Child Matters" flag. The J. Allyn Taylor Building will be lit orange as well. 

It will be a paid public holiday for city staff and employees.

"On September 30, in the spirit of reconciliation and hope, we encourage all Londoners to recognize residential school survivors and their families and the need for truth and reconciliation by wearing orange in honour of #EveryChildMatters," said Holder.

CIty Hall, Citi Plaza, Ontario Works office and Provincial Offences Administration offices will be closed, along with community centres, public golf courses, areas, pools and Storybook Gardens. Recycling and waste collection will not be affected.

The city says Ontario Works monthly cheque pick-ups at Citi Plaza will take place on Sept. 28 and 29 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Banks will be closed on Sept. 30.