North

Government pumps brakes on making Nunavut Day a stat holiday

The Nunavut government is waiting to see what happens with Parliament's Bill C-369, which proposes to make Sept. 30 the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

July 9 marks Parliament passing the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act

The Nunavut government is waiting to see what happens with Parliament's Bill c-369, which proposes to make Sept. 30 the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. (CBC)

The Nunavut government is pumping the brakes on making Nunavut Day a statutory territorial holiday.

Last year, the government was mulling the idea to give Nunavummiut the day off on July 9 — to commemorate Parliament's passing of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, which created Nunavut.

But now officials say they're waiting to see if Ottawa passes another act to make Sept. 30 into a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Bill C-369 passed third reading in the House of Commons in March and is now before the Senate.

"That comes with some financial implications, so that's a possibility as well," said Nunavut's deputy minister of justice Bill MacKay when asked why not make both days a holiday.

"What we want to do is get a sense from the [Government of Nunavut] and from other employers in the territory about what the financial implications are for that and whether they can afford to bear them."

If Ottawa passes Bill C-369, MacKay said the Nunavut government would introduce legislation to make it a holiday in Nunavut, too, and then consult with Nunavummiut on whether there's still an appetite on adding another holiday for Nunavut Day.

Adding a statutory holiday would cost the Government of Nunavut an estimated $1.8 million — which doesn't even include salaries of employees on shift work, 24-hour facilities, call-outs and overtime costs.

The government estimates it would cost Nunavut's private sector about $1.2 million to add a holiday.

The government doesn't have data on what another holiday would cost federal or municipal governments — though several municipalities and private businesses already give their employees the day off for Nunavut Day.

About the Author

Nick Murray is a CBC reporter, based in Iqaluit since 2015. He got his start with CBC in Fredericton after graduating from St. Thomas University's journalism program. He's also worked two Olympic Games as a senior writer with CBC Sports. You can follow Nick on Twitter at @NickMurray91.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now