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Labour Council demands Truth and Reconciliation action

District Labour Council protest outside MP Rota’s office

The Labour Council is demanding Ottawa act and implement the 94 recommendations outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

Demonstrations are being held through the country, and the North Bay and District Labour Council stood tall before Liberal MP Anthony Rota’s office.

They arrived at four this afternoon. Many wore orange shirts, and all wanted Ottawa to enact change.

“Even though MP Rota get re-elected, it doesn’t mean that the Liberal Government can’t do better when it comes to reconciliation,” said Henri Giroux, the district’s Labour Council president.

Speaking for his council, which is part of the Canadian Labour Congress, an organization with over 3.3 million members nationally, Giroux asked Rota “to seriously consider the Liberal Government’s record, and to make a plan to enact all TRC recommendations as soon as possible.”

As today marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Rota’s office, like so many other federal offices, was closed.  

Giroux mentioned that he had sent his council’s requests for action to Rota via e-mail and did not receive response by the time of the protest.

“Unions across Canada call on all levels of government” to make “concrete commitments and to take action,” Giroux said.

The council calls on government to implement all the calls to action outlined in the TRC’s report, as well as all recommendations put forward from the national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women.

They also want September 30 to be a statutory holiday for all provinces and territories.

Dropping all government court battles against residential school survivors is also on their list of demands.

For Giroux, the protest provided opportunity to let Rota—and all members of government— “know that we’re watching them, and we expect them to do something.”

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.