Nisga’a dancer Rosita Martinez takes part in a ceremony on Parliament Hill Thursday June 3, 2021 in Ottawa. A bill creating a statutory holiday to commemorate the tragic legacy of residential schools in Canada has been passed unanimously by the Senate. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Nisga’a dancer Rosita Martinez takes part in a ceremony on Parliament Hill Thursday June 3, 2021 in Ottawa. A bill creating a statutory holiday to commemorate the tragic legacy of residential schools in Canada has been passed unanimously by the Senate. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Senate unanimously passes bill creating national day for truth and reconciliation

Sept. 30 of this year to become Canada’s first national day for truth and reconciliation

A bill creating a statutory holiday to commemorate the tragic legacy of residential schools in Canada has been passed unanimously by the Senate.

Bill C-5 is expected to receive royal assent later today, in time for Sept. 30 to become the first national day for truth and reconciliation.

The bill has been fast-tracked with unanimous support through both houses of Parliament since the grisly discovery last week of what are believed to be the remains of 215 Indigenous children in unmarked graves at a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.

The bill creates a statutory holiday for employees in the federal government and federally regulated workplaces.

Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault says the objective is to create a chance for Canadians to learn about and reflect on a dark chapter in their country’s history and to commemorate the survivors, their families and their communities — as called for by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Indigenous leaders.

Officials estimate the day off will cost the federal government almost $166 million each year, mainly in lost productivity, and another $223 million for federally regulated employers.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: Island woman makes historic name change for truth and reconciliation

Federal PoliticsTruth and Reconciliation Commission

Just Posted

Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair logo
Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair cancelled again due to COVID-19 restrictions

The 2022 fall fair is still scheduled to take place in Port Hardy

North Island Gazette
EDITORIAL: What to do about homelessness in Port Hardy

‘people suffering from homelessness deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion’

North Island Eagles logo
North Island Eagles give update on the upcoming 2021-2022 season

The North Island Eagles minor rep hockey teams are getting ready for… Continue reading

Ma Murrays 2021 virtual ceremony screenshot
North Island Gazette wins big at 2021 Ma Murray Newspaper Awards

Zoe Ducklow and Bill McQuarrie both won gold at the online ceremony

Port Hardy council has agreed to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of the discovery of the remains of 215 children being found on the grounds of a former residential school. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Council votes to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of mass grave sites being found

Coun. Treena Smith made the motion for the chamber to not host Canada Day celebrations this year

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

Most Read