Manitoba premier stands by controversial Orange Shirt Day vote

Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson is defending her government’s decision to vote down a bill that would have made Sept. 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a provincial statutory holiday.

The move to vote down Bill 200, introduced by the Manitoba NDP, happened the day before the holiday and earned Stefanson and her party heavy criticism from the opposition as well as members of the public.

In a wide-ranging interview on 680 CJOB’s The Start Wednesday, Stefanson said the government hasn’t closed the door on making the day, also known as Orange Shirt Day, a stat holiday down the road.

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Read more: Manitoba says no statutory Orange Shirt holiday this year as talks continue

“We are in the process of going through consultations on this,” she said.

“What we don’t want to do is obviously go out and do something that people aren’t comfortable with.

“There are different views on what should happen with that stat holiday, and so we will listen.”

The premier said Indigenous leaders and those in the business community should all have a say before any provincial stat holiday goes into force.

In late August, Labour Minister Reg Hewler said that introducing a new holiday would be “disrespectful” due to a short timeline, and that further consultations needed to take place before a decision was made.

Bill 200, the Orange Shirt Day Statutory Act, a private member’s bill introduced by NPD MLA Ian Bushie, aimed to make the day a holiday provincewide, but was voted down by the PC government.

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Manitoba says no statutory Orange Shirt holiday this year as talks continue – Aug 31, 2022

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