The Yukon government has published a report on the public engagement it did on the creation of a new stat holiday to coincide with the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Sept. 30.
The response showed mixed support for a new holiday with employers being notably more opposed than employees, but more than 60 per cent support overall.
The engagement process, circulated by the Yukon Bureau of Statistics in March and April of this year, drew 1,294 responses. Members of the public, First Nations, businesses and other stakeholders gave their views.
The government report states that 66 per cent of all respondents supported a new statutory holiday on Sept. 30. Seventy-four per cent of non-employers supported the statutory day while 39 per cent of employers did. Both groups agreed that a holiday alone is not meaningful without more public education and programs. Among employers that responded, 43.2 per cent said a new statutory holiday would have a large impact on their staffing and human resources and 58 per cent agreed it would create new labour costs.
The government’s report notes that the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is one of the calls to action issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The federally-recognized day on Sept. 30 was created last June meaning all employees in federally-regulated industries already get the day off. Those workers whose jobs are regulated by the Yukon’s Employment Standards Act are not yet entitled to the day off or pay in lieu.
“Thank you to all Yukoners and the local businesses that responded to the survey on creating a statutory day to observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We will continue engaging with Yukon First Nations to identify meaningful ways for Yukoners to observe this day and how we can continue to advance reconciliation,” said Yukon Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn.
Last year’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was enthusiastically marked in Whitehorse with more than 1,000 people gathering to hear words and prayers around the sacred fire outside the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre after walking from the healing totem on Front Street.
Contact Jim Elliot at firstname.lastname@example.org