Pallister-Stefanson PC’s Vote Against Statutory Holiday for Orange Shirt Day

September 29, 2022

Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg MB—One day before Manitobans reflect on the harmful legacy of residential schools, the Pallister-Stefanson government has voted against an NDP bill to make Orange Shirt Day a statutory holiday province-wide.  

Ian Bushie, the NDP MLA for Keewatinook, introduced Bill 200 The Orange Shirt Day Statutory Holiday Act. This morning the PC government voted against the bill, despite overwhelming support from families, labour and the business sector. 

“This bill would have given Manitobans an opportunity to mark Orange Shirt Day with their families and their communities. It would have advanced our province’s reconciliation journey,” said Bushie. “It’s disappointing the PCs are stuck in the past on this issue. They don’t understand that Manitobans are ready to acknowledge the truth and move forward together. By voting against this bill, the PC’s have proved once again they are out of touch with Manitoba families.” 

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission called for September 30th to be marked as a day to honour residential school survivors and reflect on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. In 2017 Wab Kinew introduced and helped pass a bill to proclaim Orange Shirt Day in Manitoba. In 2021 the federal government proclaimed it the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and made it a statutory holiday for federal workers.  

“Manitobans, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, want to acknowledge the truth of residential schools and the multi-generational impact they have had on our country. Parents want their kids to know this side of Canadian history, so that they can build a more equitable and inclusive future,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “Families, workers, business leaders—they are ready for this. But the PC’s just don’t seem to get it.”