Quebec premier rejects suggestion for statutory holiday to honour Indigenous Peoples

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MONTREAL — Quebec isn't interested in adding a statutory holiday in the province to recognize Indigenous Peoples.

Premier François Legault told reporters today the province has enough statutory holidays and the government isn't interested in adding another, no matter the reason.

The federal government recently adopted Bill C-5, which designates Sept. 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation; it will apply to federally regulated workers.

Legault says the province marked National Indigenous Peoples Day today and that there's a lot of work to do on reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in the province.

He notes that his government has brought back a roundtable with the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador and says a first meeting was held last week.

Legault says he hopes Indigenous Affairs Minister Ian Lafrenière will be able to eventually conclude agreements with each of the 11 nations in the province.

"I understand very well we have a lot of work to do for reconciliation between our nation and each of the 11 nations," Legault said today. "We have to honour them, we have to respect them, we have to make sure we don't see racism like we have in the past unfortunately, so there's still a lot of work to do."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 21, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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