Here’s who gets the Sept. 30 holiday off in Ontario

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This Friday marks Canada’s second annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The federal holiday, which is held on Sept. 30 each year, was first marked in 2021 and honours the victims, survivors, families and communities impacted by residential schools.

“Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process,” the Government of Canada website says.

It coincides with Orange Shirt Day, which is an Indigenous-led grassroots event intended to raise awareness of the impacts of residential schools, the website notes.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a statutory holiday for federally regulated industries in Canada, but provinces have jurisdiction over provincially regulated industries, which covers most workplaces.

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In Ontario, the provincial government has not deemed the day a statutory holiday.

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That means the stat only applies to federally regulated industries in the province, including federal government employees.

Industries included in the federally regulated private sector are air transportation, banks, grain elevators and feed/seed mills, First Nations band councils and Indigenous self-governments, most federal Crown corporations such as Canada Post, port services, courier services, radio and television broadcasting, railways, transportation services that cross provincial or international borders, telecommunications, and uranium mining or atomic energy workers.

Workers in most other industries in Ontario will have a normal work day, unless their employer has decided to give them the day off or it has been negotiated into collective agreements or employment contracts.

The Retail Council of Canada notes that the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is not recognized by either Ontario’s Retail Holiday Act of Employment Standards Act “meaning it has no legal impact on a head office or retail establishment for retailers.”

Ontario public service employees will not receive the day off, according to one union, but Indigenous employees can make a request to receive a paid compassionate day.

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All six unions representing provincial public service employees have filed grievances fighting to either follow their federal counterparts and receive a paid holiday on the 30th or receive a day in lieu.

— With files from Colin D’Mello, Eric Stober, Amanda Connolly and Heidi Lee

The Toronto sign in Nathan Phillips Square will be illuminated orange to commemorate National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Toronto. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Evan Buhler

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