National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 30 marks the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day was created to honour survivors of the residential schools, their families, and communities, and this public commemoration remains a vital part of the reconciliation process.
September 30 is a federal statutory holiday. Banks, the post office and other federally regulated entities will be closed. The holiday will affect real estate closings, court and tribunal hearings and other legal matters.
Consider the impact of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on your practice:
- Civility: As many law firms will be observing the day by closing or holding events to commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools, consider rescheduling matters scheduled for September 30.
- Real estate transactions: Although the Teraview system will be up and running, the Ontario Public Service will observe the day with active learning (see this Bulletin). Banks and the payments system will be closed on September 30. As a result, you may want to avoid real estate closings on September 30th. For real estate closings already scheduled to close on September 30th, consider working with your client and the other parties to the transaction to reschedule the closing day.
- Calculating limitation periods and deadlines: See the “Courts and Tribunals” section below for more information.
Commemorating the History and Legacy of Residential Schools
Here are resources to learn more about the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation or on how to commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools:
- National Center for Truth and Reconciliation
- Orange Shirt Day
- Legacy of Hope Foundation
- Law Society of Ontario, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day 2022
- Guide for Lawyers Working with Indigenous Peoples
- The Trauma Informed Lawyer Podcast
- The Canadian Bar Association’s Truth and Reconciliation Toolkit
Courts and Tribunals
Courts and Tribunals are closed or operating on holiday schedules on September 30th.
- Ontario’s three Chief Justices have announced that the Courts will be closed except for matters that must be heard. See their Public Statement, “In the Ontario Court of Justice, only Weekend and Statutory Holiday (bail) courts will operate. In the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, urgent matters such as those heard on statutory holidays will be heard. In the Court of Appeal for Ontario, no motions or appeals are scheduled for that day.”
- Provincial Tribunals: If you have upcoming matters with a provincial tribunal, check whether it will be operating and consider how the day will be treated for calculating timelines.
- Supreme Court of Canada: The Registry Office will be closed, as September 30 is a federal holiday. Generally, holidays are included in the calculation of time for meeting Supreme Court of Canada deadlines, unless a deadline is less than six days, in which case the day is not included, or if the time limit for serving and filing a document falls on a holiday, in which case the document may be served or filed on the following business day. See the Supreme Court of Canada’s How to Calculate Deadlines for Serving and Filing Documents.
- As September 30th is a federal holiday, the offices of the Courts Administration Service and of the Registry of the Federal Court of Appeal, Federal Court, Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and Tax Court of Canada will be closed.
- Federal Tribunals: If you have upcoming matters with a federal tribunal scheduled for September 30, check whether/how it will be rescheduled. Generally consider how September 30 will be treated for calculating timelines going forward.