Timmins Transit bus moves message of Indigenous reconciliation
Timmins Mayor George Pirie said it is important to acknowledge the past and present treatment of Indigenous people.
Pirie said that's why all municipal buildings will be closed on Sept. 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This, despite the day being only a federal statutory holiday and not observed by the Province of Ontario.
“It’s the same spirit as Remembrance Day -- you want people to reflect on the history, you want them to reflect on the meaningfulness of the day," said Pirie.
As a reminder to the public, the city has taken one of its transit buses and is using it as a moving billboard. It's wrapped in orange and depicts the 'Every Child Matters' message.
“I absolutely love this idea," said Cory Robin, a Timmins councillor. "I’m going to go track it down later and go take a nice selfie in front of it because I’m proud of our city for making a bus orange because it makes me happy -- it makes my mother happy and our family happy.”
The remains of more than 1,600 children have been discovered at former Indian residential school sites across Canada and more sites continue to be investigated.
"We can no longer deny that Canada's past has created a legacy of trauma for Indigenous peoples," Pirie said.
The orange-wrapped bus will be seen transporting passengers throughout the city and not on a fixed route.