On February 7, 2023, Bill 2, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Act, was introduced in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. Bill 2 proposes that the B.C. government recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, September 30, as a public holiday in the province and amend the B.C. Employment Standards Act to establish a provincial statutory holiday.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a day for all Canadians to commemorate the history and legacy of the residential school system. The holiday was first declared in 2021 by the federal government and made a federal statutory holiday in Bill C-5, which was given royal assent on June 3, 2021. Since then, outside of the territories — the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon — the only province to formally recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a provincial statutory holiday is Prince Edward Island.
If Bill 2 passes into law, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will be added to the roster of provincial statutory holidays in B.C., and eligible workers will be able to observe September 30 with a paid day off or receive payment at premium rates if required to work.
Bill 2 received first reading on February 7, 2023, and it is supposed to progress to second reading by the end of the week. However, Bill 2 is subject to revisions as it makes its way through the legislative process. We will continue to monitor for any changes and updates.
Update: The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Act came into force on March 9, 2023, and September 30 is now officially a statutory holiday in B.C.
For more information, please contact:
Michael Howcroft +1-604-631-3366
Thelma Zindoga +1-604-631-5227
or any other member of our Employment & Labour group.
Blakes and Blakes Business Class communications are intended for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or an opinion on any issue. We would be pleased to provide additional details or advice about specific situations if desired.
For permission to republish this content, please contact the Blakes Client Relations & Marketing Department at [email protected].
© 2023 Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP