WINNIPEG — The August civic holiday is being renamed for a Winnipeg-born national hero.
The Monday of the August long weekend will be named Terry Fox Day, Premier Greg Selinger said Wednesday morning.
“Based on what the public is saying, we think it’s just a great idea to rename the civic holiday Terry Fox Day and do it in Manitoba,” Selinger said on CJOB Radio. “Maybe it will be picked up across the country, but let’s start and do it right in Manitoba. He was born here and he’s been a great Canadian.”
Fox started his Marathon of Hope to raise funds for cancer in 1980, not long after he lost his leg to cancer. He planned to run across the country, but was forced to stop at Thunder Bay, Ont., when the cancer progressed to his lungs. He died of cancer on June 28, 1981, a month before his 23rd birthday.
His own run and annual fundraising runs held worldwide in memory of Fox have resulted in more than $600 million raised for cancer research.
Selinger hopes the rest of Canada will also name the holiday for Fox, although it already has a name in many jurisdictions – B.C. Day, Heritage Day in Alberta, Saskatchewan Day, Simcoe Day in Toronto and New Brunswick Day, to name a few.
The August civic holiday is not a statutory holiday in Manitoba and isn’t observed in some Canadian jurisdictions.