UFCW 1518 President Kim Novak sent a letter on August 25 to Save-On-Foods President Darrell Jones, Sobeys CEO Michael Medline, Sobeys Vice President, Labour Relations Andrew Follwell and others calling on them to grant their employees a day off or statutory holiday pay for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
In July, the federal government announced that September 30 would become a holiday for federal government employees to commemorate the legacy of residential schools. Provincial public-sector employees in BC have also been granted the holiday.
Recently, hundreds of unmarked and undocumented graves have been found near residential schools across Canada. These graves remind us of the shameful legacy of colonialism in Canada and the many thousands of lives lost to the residential school system.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is an opportunity for Canadians to mourn for the dead and to learn more about the history of settler/Indigenous relations. It marks our sincere desire as a country to speak the truth and build toward reconciliation between First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people and settler Canadians.