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Canada is getting a new holiday for truth and reconciliation

Canada is getting a new holiday for truth and reconciliation
/ @justinpjtrudeau | Instagram via MTL Blog

Canada will have a new national holiday to remember the legacy of the residential school system and honour its survivors.

A bill creating the statutory holiday was passed unanimously Thursday by the Senate which means Sept. 30, a day that has been known as Orange Shirt Day since 2013, will now be the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Bill C-5 was passed a week after the grisly discovery of what are believed to be the remains of 215 Indigenous children in unmarked graves at a former residential school in Kamloops.

The bill creates a statutory holiday for employees in the federal government and federally regulated workplaces.

Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault told the Senate on Thursday that the goal is to create an opportunity for Canadians to learn about and reflect on a dark chapter in their country's history.

The "terrible" discovery of children's remains in Kamloops is "a stark reminder of the heavy toll of our colonial past," Guilbeault said in French.

"Addressing the consequences of colonial violence needs to go beyond words ... Bill C-5 is an important step in the path towards reconciliation, which won't be achieved in the blink of an eye."

The new law will come into effect this summer, meaning the holiday will take place for the first time this fall.

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