It was disappointing but not surprising to hear Premier Moe not commit to recognizing the new proposed statutory holiday: National Truth and Reconciliation Day. During a media conference, he said he and his government would have to consider the cost to employers would be.
“For him to say that this would be an issue of cost fails to recognize the significant ongoing cost to our province of residential schools,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “Increased health problems, higher levels of poverty, over-representation of Indigenous children in foster care – these are the real ongoing costs of the residential school legacy. Taking the time to recognize this dark period of our history is a key step to remembering our past and ensuring we don’t see similar problems in the future.”
Premier Moe has already given Saskatchewan cause to doubt his commitment to reconciliation. He and his party need to take this opportunity to send the right signal to the people of the province and the rest of the country.
“Saskatchewan had many residential schools and thousands of survivors of those schools and their families continue to live with the negative impact,” said Meili. “What message would it send if the rest of the country recognized this day but Saskatchewan refused to do so?”