Sept. 30 will not be a provincial statutory holiday in Ontario, government confirms

Ontario will not make Sept. 30, National Truth and Reconciliation Day, a provincial statutory holiday, the government confirms. 

In a statement to CTV News Toronto on Wednesday night, a spokesperson for Indigenous Affairs Minister Greg Rickford said "National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is not a provincial public holiday this year."

"Employers and employees may agree to treat this day as such, and some may be required to do so if it has been negotiated into collective agreements or employment contracts," the statement said. "Federally regulated employees, such as federal government and bank employees, are governed by the Canada Labour Code."

"Ontario is working in collaboration with Indigenous partners, survivors and affected families to ensure the respectful commemoration of this day within the province, similar to Remembrance Day."

This means that only federally regulated businesses and organizations are required to give employees the day off. 

The federal government established the new statutory holiday in July to commemorate the tragic legacy of residential schools in Canada. The decision responds to the 80th call to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report.

Just last week, the Ontario government was still undecided on whether to mark the day as a provincial statutory holiday.

Last month, the B.C. government formally recognized Sept. 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in the province and announced the closure of schools, post-secondary institutions and some health sector workplaces.

Other provinces, including New Brunswick, Alberta and Saskatchewan, have decided they will not make Sept. 30 a provincial statutory holiday, but will observe it in other ways, which drew strong criticism from Indigenous communities.

The decision not to mark Sept. 30 as a statutory holiday means that schools in Ontario will remain open.

Ontario currently recognizes nine public holidays which include New Year’s Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.