Saskatoon

Sask. proclaims Day for Truth and Reconciliation, still no plans to make it a paid day off

The Saskatchewan government has proclaimed Sept. 30 to be the Day for Truth and Reconciliation, but it is currently not considering turning it into a paid day off in the province.

Opposition wants province to make the day a paid day off for everyone in Sask.

The Saskatchewan government says flags on all provincial government buildings will be at half-mast on Sept. 30 to mark the newly-proclaimed Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The Saskatchewan government says it is recognizing Sept. 30 as the Day for Truth and Reconciliation in the province.

In a release, the province said it's a day to honour the lost children, survivors and those affected by Canada's residential school system — and to "reflect on meaningful and lasting reconciliation."

All provincial government buildings in Saskatchewan will lower their flags to half-mast on Sept. 30, it said.

As well, the Provincial Capital Commission will be turning certain park lights orange in key locations of Wascana Centre.

The province said it is also encouraging all residents to wear orange on Sept. 30 to further generate discussion and raise awareness on the history of the residential school system in Canada.

Not a paid day off

This proclamation does not make Sept. 30 a paid day off in Saskatchewan, according to a government spokesperson.

The federal government has proclaimed the day a statutory holiday.

Federal employees and workers who have collective bargaining agreements that observe federal holidays in Saskatchewan will get paid time off.

But many provincial employees who are not federally-regulated will not get a paid day off.

The Opposition in Saskatchewan has been calling on the province to make Sept. 30 a paid day off for everyone.

The provincial government said the day was created in response to Truth and Reconciliation Commission call to action No. 80, which called on the federal government to create a statutory holiday.

It said that while this call was not directed at the province, it is proceeding with this proclamation in "the spirit of reconciliation."

When asked if the province was open to the idea of turning the Day of Truth and Reconciliation into a paid day off at some point, a government spokesperson said a legislative change would be required.

The spokesperson also said Saskatchewan is not considering any additional statutory holidays for the province at this time.

With files from Bryan Eneas and Mah Noor Mubarik

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