Saskatchewan

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation won't be a statutory holiday for everyone in Saskatchewan

Federally regulated workplaces and people who have collective bargaining agreements that observe federal holidays will mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30, but the provincial government in Saskatchewan won't recognize the new statutory holiday as such this year.

University of Saskatchewan and the City of Saskatoon will mark it, but the province doesn't plan to

Legislation changes would be required to make the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a statutory holiday for employees not governed by federal rules and guidelines in Saskatchewan. (Bryan Eneas/CBC)

The provincial government in Saskatchewan won't be observing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday for everyone this year. 

The day, formerly known as Orange Shirt Day, will be held on Sept. 30 to honour residential school survivors and those who didn't make it home.

The federal government announced the new statutory holiday earlier this year and employees in federally regulated workplaces, or those who have collective bargaining agreements that observe federal holidays in Saskatchewan, will mark it as such.

But provincial employees who are not federally regulated won't, according to the Saskatchewan government's website. 

A legislative change would be required to make the statutory holiday apply to provincial employees, a statement from the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety said, adding that decisions haven't been made about the future of any statutory holiday for the province. 

Other organizations, such as the University of Saskatchewan, are honouring the holiday as a day off. 

"We hope our campus community can use the time to learn, reflect and contemplate how we can do our part to eliminate structural and overt racism and other forms of discrimination on our campus, in our communities and across the country," a statement from the university said. 

Those who do have to work at the university are set to receive holiday pay for the hours they work, as per union contracts. Students will not have to attend classes. 

The City of Saskatoon also announced it would be commemorating the day. 

"It is important that we show leadership in this area, to honour what we've heard from survivors in our community about the impact of Indian residential schools," Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark said in a statement. 

"Elders, survivors and members of the Indigenous community have been reaching out to non-Indigenous members about building a better future together, based on truth and reconciliation."

The city will be working with Reconciliation Saskatoon and other Indigenous partners to encourage people to take on their own calls to action on a personal level, in the workplace or at the community level, it said in a news release.

There are other days that are statutory holidays for federal employees, but not necessarily for every province. For example, Remembrance Day is a statutory holiday for federal employees, but is not a holiday for everyone in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. 

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