Nova Scotia to waive name change fees for residential school survivors
The Nova Scotia government is waiving name change fees for residential school survivors and their families.
In a press release, Premier Stephen McNeil says waiving the fees “will make it easier for residential school survivors to reclaim their birth name,” adding that he hopes “it can be another step in the healing process.”
The province says the changes are in response to the 94 calls to action issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 2015.
“We call upon all levels of government to enable residential school survivors and their families to reclaim names changed… by waiving administrative costs for a period of five years,” the TRC call-to-action document reads.
Under the residential school system, changing names of Indigenous, Métis and Inuit origin to Euro-Canadian names was a process of removing a person’s cultural identity.
The step to waive name change fees makes Nova Scotia only the third province in Canada to act on the call by the TRC.
Starting July 9, the province says that once a legal change of name is complete, fees to change a name on a driver’s licence and a government-issued photo ID will also be waived.
At this moment, there is no fee to update a health card.
The fees will be waived until July 2024.
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