New Brunswick

Moncton makes Truth and Reconciliation day a holiday for city staff

New Brunswick's largest city is giving its employees a paid holiday to observe Canada's first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation later this month, joining other communities in the province. 

Bus service, some recreation facilities to remain open

Moncton's city hall and other non-essential city services will be closed Sept. 30 after city councillors approved making it a paid holiday for municipal staff to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. (Shane Magee/CBC)

New Brunswick's largest city is making the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation later this month a municipal holiday for its employees, joining other communities in the province.

Moncton councillors unanimously voted Tuesday to make Sept. 30 a paid holiday for the city's 700 staff.

The decision means Moncton city hall will be closed, as will most non-essential city services.

Codiac Transpo bus service will continue on its regular schedule since a staff report to council says most retail locations are expected to remain open.

"We understand that some of our services are really important as some other individuals will need to be working that day," Marc Landry, Moncton's city manager, said following the council vote.

The city's Superior Propane Centre, Moncton Coliseum and the Crossman Community Centre/Kay Arena will also remain open.

Not a provincial holiday

The holiday was one of the 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It's a day meant to honour survivors, their families and communities and to publicly commemorate the history and ongoing legacy of the schools.

Legislation passed by the federal government in June makes Sept. 30 a federal statutory holiday. 

It will be a paid day off for federal workers and employees in federally regulated workplaces like banks. 

But other workplaces fall under provincial labour employment law, so it's up to individual employers that aren't federally regulated to decide whether to make it a holiday for their staff. 

New Brunswick has opted to not make it a provincial holiday. Schools and other provincial services will remain open. 

The City of Miramichi and Town of Sussex have also said Sept. 30 will be a municipal holiday. 

Meghan Cross, a spokesperson for the Town of Riverview, said in an email the town's offices will close on Sept. 30 but didn't say if it would be paid holiday. 

Julie Albert, a spokesperson for the City of Dieppe, said Wednesday that a decision will be made by that city early next week.

Moncton's city manager said the city will partner with Indigenous elders to host an event on Sept. 30 to commemorate the day. Landry said more details on that event are expected to be available in the coming days. 

Observing Sept. 30 as a municipal holiday will cost Moncton $75,000, though that's $66,000 less than had it not made it a paid holiday. Terms of union agreements require paying staff 1.5 or two times their rate for working a recognized holiday.