Whitehorse Daily Star

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SUCCESS IN THE HOUSE – NDP MLA Annie Blake holds the bill to make National Truth and Reconciliation Day a statutory holiday in the Yukon moments after it was adopted in the legislature Wednesday. Party leader Kate White is at left, while Whitehorse Centre MLA Emily Tredger stands at right. Photo courtesy YUKON NDP

MLAs approve motion on statutory holiday

An NDP bill to make National Truth and Reconciliation Day (Sept. 30) a statutory holiday in the Yukon was adopted in the legislature with unanimous consent Wednesday.

By Whitehorse Star on November 24, 2022

An NDP bill to make National Truth and Reconciliation Day (Sept. 30) a statutory holiday in the Yukon was adopted in the legislature with unanimous consent Wednesday.

“On September 30th this year, at the Choutla Residential school site on Carcross-Tagish First Nation territory, I reflected on my own position in the legacy of residential schools: as a Vuntut Gwitchin citizen, and the daughter of a residential school survivor, I feel the weight of this legacy in all of the work that I do and in my daily life as I raise my own children and connect with many youths across the territory,” said Annie Blake, the NDP MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin and the bill’s sponsor.

“This bill will make September 30th a statutory holiday in the Yukon, so that everybody can reflect on our shared history of colonisation and commemorate the legacy of residential schools,” the NDP said.

Less than a week after this year’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Day, the Yukon government announced it would table amendments to the Employment Standards Act in the spring of 2023 that would make the day a statutory holiday.

“The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a significant opportunity to reflect on the tragic history of residential schools in our country and the need for ongoing work to advance reconciliation in Canada,” Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn said Oct. 6.

As the law stands now, those working in federally regulated industries and Yukon government employees are entitled to the day off from work, while employees in the private sector are not.

As the preamble of the NDP’s bill states, every community in the Yukon has been directly impacted by the legacy of residential schools.

“We as Indigenous people are still bearing the consequences of residential schools,” said Blake.

“Today, every community in the Yukon has and continues to be directly impacted by this system.

“I’ve heard stories of entire villages that fell silent, once the residential school system took children. There were no children to run, laugh and play. There were no children to learn knowledge passed down from our elders.”

Thie bill also formally recognizes genocide upon Indigenous people, a first time in the Yukon’s history.

“The federal government legislated this genocide through all of the systems they created and forced onto us,” said Blake.

“My own community, the Dagoo Gwitch’in, have ceased to exist as a recognized group of people because of this genocide, yet many of us are still here,” she added.

“Mahsi Cho to all members of the legislative assembly as they voted unanimously to support this bill.”

The Yukon Party official Opposition said Wednesday it supports all 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“However, the addition of another statutory holiday comes at a financial cost for the private sector,” the party said.

“To mitigate additional costs to businesses due to the addition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the Yukon Party supports the removal of a current statutory holiday to be identified during government consultation.

“In speaking to the bill in debate, the NDP indicated they would support a call for the government to consult with the private sector and Yukoners to see if they would like to see another stat holiday removed, and, if so, which one.”

Comments (20)

Up 2 Down 5

Moose on Nov 28, 2022 at 8:37 pm

@Kwadaydan You call this an NDP and Liberal thing even though the Yukon Party also voted for it. Funny you chose not to mention that.

Up 12 Down 0

Jack on Nov 28, 2022 at 8:14 pm

It has to made harder to legislate stat holidays. The system is being abused by these NDP politicians for votes/publicity and it won't end here.

Up 15 Down 1

YukonMax on Nov 28, 2022 at 6:55 am

My little business goes under each and every stat holidays. I bet I am not the only one. What would happen if all micro and small businesses just decide to shut down for the day on a "Business Owners Stat Holiday". As a small business owner, I never had a stat holiday in the last 16 years, I have to work them all. I want one too.

Up 32 Down 2

Kwaday Dan kenji on Nov 27, 2022 at 12:08 pm

There will never be forgiveness ever…why you ask…because there is no money in it. Once all is forgiven there is nothing to leverage future handouts that have been going on for hundreds of billions of dollars. It’s a sad reality. To add another holiday on top of the many others just goes to show how shallow the NDP/LIB coalition thinking is.

Up 12 Down 17

The Holocaust Happened on Nov 26, 2022 at 8:56 am

Dear Richard Smith on Nov 24, 2022 at 3:08 pm:

Some criminals, whether they be social workers, priests, teachers, lawyers, politicians, judges and the like hide their crimes. For example, it was well known that Indigenous children were provided with virulently infected blankets, and/or subjected to food deprivation experiments etc. The fact that many children died as they tried to escape is also another indicator… Wow!

It reminds me of the vaccine roundup mandates… Lots of people did not want to do it, many people died or were injured as a result - The government kills in the name of the “common good”.

You are only as valuable as your conformance to the common good. Seriously, otherwise you are culled from the body politic:

1) Residential Schools
2) MAID for veterans
3) Vaccines for the vulnerable
4) Gun bans to criminalize lawful gun owners
5) Relaxed gun laws wherein criminals use firearms to rob, steal and kidnap - They are the Robbing Hoods of the Liberalism…

And these are the people you voted for… It makes you just as culpable as them. You consciously do this knowing full well the destruction these Idyots rain down on you.

Up 30 Down 0

iBrian on Nov 26, 2022 at 4:23 am

So much of this time frame has happened before, and not too long ago. Where a certain group help a financial position over all other groups. Then laws came in that you couldn’t say certain offensive words and slogans in public. Which drove several groups underground. It only took 3 years of being oppressed for a particular underground group to rise to political power threw democratic election. Once the government propaganda machine churned lies into facts.
However the self identified group became the target for all the poor peoples problems. Costs, rates, benefits to a certain group.
This did not go well in the end and will never be Reconciled. We are seeing the same preferential treatment to 1 group that in all facts is seeking Revenge, not reconciliation. Unfortunately FN people you were not alone in some of the abuses that took place, many of us Whites have same stories. The church apologized in the 1990’s to the Irish Orphans who were dropped in Montreal and area and basically adopted into slave labour.
This holiday does nothing to advance your cause or create healing. This is an open wound that year after year will bring back horrible memories for some FN people. And remind the rest of us Non-Status that your worth more as we never got a dime or a holiday.

Up 13 Down 4

John on Nov 25, 2022 at 12:32 pm

...and there you have it. Listen to the words of wisdom from the far left - Yukoner61 and Politico. If you do it will only anger you - who needs that in their life.

Up 30 Down 1

John on Nov 25, 2022 at 12:23 pm

Virtual signalling at it's best or to flip at it's worse. Either way in the end no-one will benefit. Just another "day off" - and it will be taken that way. The virtual signallers will en mass (about a couple of dozen) gather in their hypocritical posture to pay homage.

Bizarre how far we will stoop to like righteous when in fact most of us really don't give a damn.

Up 46 Down 1

Do your job on Nov 25, 2022 at 12:20 pm

I listen to the legislature on the radio all the time, I'm a political nerd like that and I can tell you that the NDP actually left work after they voted on this. They were so excited about the bill passing that they skipped 2 votes on other matters that occurred afterwards. They have no sense of responsibility or commitment to their jobs that they were elected to do. Just imagine if these children were ever actually in charge of government.

I get excited about things sometimes but I sure as heck can't just leave my job because of it. The NDP don't just LOOK unprofessional, they really ARE unprofessional!! I don't see how any self respecting person could ever support them.

Up 35 Down 2

Efficiency on Nov 25, 2022 at 10:11 am

This can be one of the 10 paid sick days.

Up 53 Down 3

jack on Nov 24, 2022 at 9:39 pm

It's not just about public sector, these stat holidays cost private employers dearly and shouldn't just be thrown about like confetti. If I have 10 employees, this just cost me $10K+ in productivity which I won't recover. Thanks NDP.

Up 35 Down 4

Yukoner61 on Nov 24, 2022 at 8:50 pm

They won't take another holiday away to make up for this one. If they were going to do that, they would have had it lined up before making this one a stat. The NDP just lied to the Yukon Party in order to get their support and for some reason Currie Dixon being gullible, took it at face value. The Yukon Party keeps saying that it stands for the private sector while simultaneously voting to screw them at every turn. If my memory serves me correct, the Yukon Party voted in favour of creating the last stat holiday as well.

Currie what kind of assurance did you get from Kate White that she would work with the Liberals to take away a different holiday? My guess is zero!

Up 47 Down 5

bonanzajoe on Nov 24, 2022 at 7:36 pm

Anger, hate, accusations, finger pointing, racism, ungratefulness. Never in my lifetime did I ever think I would see a paid statutory holiday for something like this. But then, it is NDP. Karl Marx your political mentor would be proud of ya.

Up 34 Down 1

Jim on Nov 24, 2022 at 4:56 pm

@Politico you are right, your stat holiday pay does come out of the profits. So I would guess you agree that it also will add to increasing prices. And then everyone will complain when prices go up and will be yapping crap about corporate greed. Business is not like government. There are no free handouts. Actions have consequences, and like it or not when a businesses cost increases, price to the consumer does as well. Just like sick day pay, carbon tax, increase in minimum wage, increase in freight, taxes, utilities, etc. it all goes into the big calculator and with desired profit comes the selling price. So the burden does fall on your employer who then will pass it down the line to their customer.

Up 75 Down 4

drum on Nov 24, 2022 at 4:35 pm

We have enough apologies. Another paid holiday for union employees.

Up 72 Down 17

Richard Smith on Nov 24, 2022 at 3:08 pm

The extreme negative exaggeration of residential schools is well known.
What about the benefits of bringing first nation children into the 20th century. As it is, many now have opportunity for good employment for them and future generations because of these schools.
I have yet to read about discovery of abnormal deaths in these supposed residential school grave sites.
Yes, there was some abuse in these schools, mostly by other first nation children.

Up 20 Down 36

Mr Facts on Nov 24, 2022 at 2:18 pm

I think that's the first time I've ever seen a woman wearing suspenders. You go girl.

Up 74 Down 6

John on Nov 24, 2022 at 1:29 pm

More days off, more expenses…who pays ? I think it would be easier just to have a four day work week and four day paydays instead of this backdoor socialist approach to everybody gets paid, nobody works approach. The NDP are very good at all pay no work it appears

Up 5 Down 51

Politico on Nov 24, 2022 at 1:05 pm

Since stat holidays are paid for by the profits I create for my employer how is this a burden on employers? Why then did Cutie and the YP vote for such an onerous piece of legislation?

Up 87 Down 4

marylaker on Nov 24, 2022 at 1:00 pm

Another government worker paid holiday. What a load of baloney. As if more than one in 50 of them will give a moment's thought to residential schools.

The money wasted on paying those employees to have a day off would have been better spent on fetal alcohol syndrome prevention, or addressing some of the other issues that flowed from societal collapse in the First Nations.

This virtue signalling really makes me sick, and if I were a Yukon First Nation, I'd speak up and say so. How in the H does a paid day off for government workers translate into ANYTHING useful for them?!

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