The federal government is considering a statutory holiday in June or September, in an effort to honour survivors of residential schools
But this is being met with mixed reviews.
Spokesperson for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in New Brunswick Louis Phillippe-Gauthier says they are supportive of reconciliation efforts, but they do caution the government to consider the cost of a new stat holiday and the effect it will have on businesses.
“The CFIB is supportive of reconciliation efforts, but it is not really our role to determine the best way to recognize the significant pain that has been caused by residential schools. Should the government move forward, it does need to consider how it can help mitigate the costs for businesses.”
He feels adding a statutory holiday would deserve an in depth discussion in consultation with all of the stakeholders.
“The provincial government here in New Brunswick created a new statutory holiday this year. It represented essentially $47 million dollars in lost productivity annually that will happen every year.”
The proposed day would be either June 21, which is National Aboriginal day, or September 20th, which is known as Orange shirt day.
The bill still needs to go through second reading in the Legislature.
Further discussion is also expected to be had with indigenous people as well, to determine if this is the best way to honour these survivors.