Regional buildings in Mississauga and Brampton will be closed on Sept. 30 for Truth and Reconciliation


Published September 9, 2021 at 8:25 pm

A senior level of government passing on making National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a stat holiday has not stopped the Region of Peel from doing so.

The regional council voted unanimously on Thursday to formally recognize the Sept. 30 holiday that was created by the Government of Canada to honour residential school survivors, their families and communities and to publicly commemorate the history and ongoing legacy of the schools.

Regional buildings in Mississauga and Brampton will be closed on Sept. 30. Municipal services will operate on a holiday schedule. City of Mississauga employees will get a paid day off.

“The region will recognize this important day and commits to providing learning to staff throughout the year,” regional chair Nando Iannicca said in a statement. ”Education is foundational to understanding our role as Canadians, our role as a municipal government, and our role in reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous peoples.”

The announcement came less than 24 hours after the Ford government in Ontario said it will not make the day a holiday in Ontario.

Creating a day to recognize the ongoing trauma to Indigenous people as a result of residential schools — which have was call No. 80 in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. The TRC found in 2015 that the residential school system was a case of “cultural genocide.”

Hundreds of unmarked graves at former school sites were discovered this summer in British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, the Northwest Territories and Prince Edward Island are recognizing the holiday.

Calgary, Moncton and Regina are among the other major cities who are also formally observing it, even if their provincial counterparts are not.

Earlier this summer, the City of Mississauga dimmed the lights at city hall in honour of residential school victims. It also held a “sombre” Canada Day event.

The Sept. 30 designation in Peel is for this year only. Regional council has also asked staff to assess how best to recognize National Truth and Reconciliation Day on an annual basis.

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