Be Part of Reconciliation on Orange Shirt Day

Be Part of Reconciliation on Orange Shirt Day

 Whether you have it off from work or not, September 30 is an important day for all Canadians as we come to terms with the racist policy of cultural genocide practiced against Indigenous      peoples.

Officially, it’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. But it has come to be known as Orange Shirt Day, a name that comes from a survivor of one of the residential schools that                  Indigenous children were forced to attend after being removed from their families, in many cases against their parents’ wishes.

Her grandmother gave Phyllis Webstad, a member of the Stsweccem’c Xgat’tem First Nation in BC, an orange shirt to wear on her first day at residential school. But Phyllis was stripped of her clothes, including the orange shirt, which was never returned to her.

September 30 has been declared a holiday for workers covered by the Canada Labour Code. Workers governed by Ontario law may also be entitled to the day off if their collective agreement contains language such as “other holidays as may be declared by local, provincial or federal governments.”

If you have questions about the entitlement under your collective agreement, please contact your COPE local or COPE Ontario Labour Relations Specialist.

Hopefully, the Government of Ontario will soon do the right thing and add National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to the list of statutory holidays provided to all workers under the Employment Standards Act.

But in the meantime, we can all be part of reconciliation.

Wear your orange shirt on September 30!

Many First Nations, municipalities and community organizations will be holding events on September 30 (day or evening) or on the days just before and after. Probably there will be events happening near you. With your presence, you, too, can be part of reconciliation.

Latest posts

May 30 – The Fightback is On


Either we save our public medicare now, or we are going to lose it

Giant march & protest. Send a message to the Ford government & Ontario's Legislature that cannot be ignored.

In Toronto: Gather at 12 p.m. noon at the south side of Nathan Phillips Square across from the Sheraton, 123 Queen St. W. We will march to the Ontario Legislature at Queen’s Park which is in session — local Members of Provincial Parliament from across Ontario will be there.

There is a designated space at Queen’s Park for people with mobility issues who cannot join the march. Meet us at Queen’s Park in front of the Ontario Legislature. The march will arrive at Queen’s Park at 1 p.m.

Across Mid- & Southern Ontario: There will be buses/transportation to the Toronto protest. Look on the Ontario Health Coaltion website for details about buses and how to reserve a space or email [email protected].

In Northern Ontario (N. Ontario locations where it is too far to travel in to the Ontario Legislature):

Sault Ste. Marie: Gather at 12 p.m. noon at Roberta Bondar Pavilion for protest and march. Contact Al Dupuis at the Algoma Health Coalition [email protected].

Thunder Bay: Gather at 12 p.m. noon at mini Queen’s Park. Contact Jules Tupker [email protected].

Dryden: Rally outside of MPP Greg Rickford's office (429 Government Road) at 11:30 a.m. CDST

In Eastern Ontario

Ottawa: Gather at 12 p.m. noon at Faircrest Heights Park, 550 Smyth Road. Contact the Ottawa Health Coalition at [email protected]

Cornwall: Gather at 4 p.m. (note the time is different than elsewhere) outside MPP Nolan Quinn’s office, 120 Second St. W. Contact Louise Lanctot at [email protected] or Elaine MacDonald at [email protected].

COPE Fights for Homecare Workers

COPE joined other unions at Queen's Park to call on the Ford government to halt a plan that will cause further chaos in the home care sector – for both patients and workers. 

Bill 135 – rushed through the legislature with little oversight – demolishes existing governance structures and paves the way for privatization of vital health care services. 

The measure would dismantle the existing system of 14 Home Care and Community Support Services organizations across the province and turn them into one unwieldly structure. Unions have asked the government to consult with them on how to avoid the labour relations turmoil that will result. 

COPE Local 550 represents workers at Home Care and Community Support Services – Toronto. 

COPE Ontario Interim Director Glenn Wheeler (centre) joined OPSEU President JP Hornick, ONA President Erin Ariss, CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn and NDP Health Critic France Gelinas at a media conference at Queen's Park.




Share this page

Sign up for updates