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Canada Report: 1st Truth and Reconciliation Day held to remember Indigenous school abuses

The Ledger logo The Ledger 10/2/2021 Jim Fox
The Bridgewater Communities for Civil Rights group held a standout on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a Canadian holiday that honors lost Indigenous children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. © Marc Vasconcellos/The Enterprise The Bridgewater Communities for Civil Rights group held a standout on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a Canadian holiday that honors lost Indigenous children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities.

Canadians marked their first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation last week to remember the Indigenous children who disappeared years ago from “residential schools.”

It became a new federal holiday intended for Canadians to reflect on the abuses and deaths of Native children at the Catholic church-run institutions.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission estimates that 6,000 to 15,000 children died while attending the schools with hundreds of unmarked graves found this year.

The intent of the schools was to strip Indigenous people of their culture and language to be replaced with a Christian faith and English language.

Some 150,000 First Nations, Metis and Inuit children were forced to attend the schools from the 1870s and 1996, when the remaining ones were closed.

Trudeau declares mandate, will name new cabinet soon

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will name his new cabinet later this month after his Liberals were returned with a minority government. 

In keeping with election promises, Trudeau, 49, said Parliament will return to business “before the end of fall” and implement a federal vaccine mandate as soon as possible. 

Emboldened by his win in the snap election, Trudeau said “Canadians made it very clear the kinds of things they want us to work on.” 

Exact dates are still to be worked out, “but we are busy getting into the business of delivering on an ambitious agenda that Canadians laid out,” he said. 

A highlight of his first week was the freeing from a Chinese prison of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, a move assisted by President Joe Biden. They were released after being detained on espionage charges since Dec. 10, 2018. 

It happened once Canada dropped an extradition case against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. She was being held in house arrest in Vancouver for the U.S. Department of Justice on fraud and conspiracy charges over sanctions against Iran. 

Some of Trudeau’s priorities are climate measures, $10-a-day child care and affordable housing. 

Doctors urge lockdown after 34 COVID fatalities in a day in Alberta 

Alberta had its second-highest daily tally of COVID-19 deaths with 34 fatalities as doctors issued another desperate plea for a province-wide lockdown. 

Intensive-care doctors with the Alberta Medical Association are urging the government to begin a “firebreak” lockdown of public places. 

"We understand that implementing province-wide public health restrictions should be a last resort measure, used only in the direst of times,” Dr. Paul Parks said. 

"As we face the largest wave of COVID-19 infections ever seen in our province during this pandemic, we cannot overstate how dire the times have become,” he said. 

Facts and figures

• Canada’s dollar is steady at 78 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar returns $1.28 in Canadian funds, before exchange fees. 

• The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate is unchanged at 0.25% while the prime lending rate is 2.45%.

• Canadian stock markets are lower, with the Toronto index at 20,104 points and the TSX Venture index 860 points.

• The average price for gas in Canada is steady at $1.37 a liter (Canadian) or $5.20 for a U.S. gallon.

• Lotto Max: (Sept. 28) 2, 5, 8, 18, 23, 31 and 35; bonus 43. (Sept. 24) 5, 13, 28, 35, 41, 49 and 50; bonus 34.

• Lotto 6/49: (Sept. 29) 3, 5, 38, 39, 41 and 48; bonus 28. (Sept. 25) 3, 8, 10, 35, 46 and 48; bonus 17.

Regional briefs 

• Thirty-nine miners trapped underground at Vale’s Totten Mine in Sudbury, Ontario, were rescued unharmed after three days. They slowly made their way to the surface assisted by rescue teams and built-in safety measures. They were trapped after the collapse of an internal elevator and used ladders and ropes to escape from almost one-mile deep. The mine produces copper, nickel and precious metals and employs about 200 people.

• Travel within the “Atlantic Canada bubble” is continuing to open up. In Nova Scotia as of Monday, anyone who travels from another Canadian province or territory needs to complete the Safe Check-in Form and may need to self-isolate for seven days when they arrive in or return. People who are fully vaccinated or have isolated already in Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador can enter Nova Scotia without self-isolating again or if they are exempt.

Jim Fox can be reached at canadareport@hotmail.com

This article originally appeared on The Ledger: Canada Report: 1st Truth and Reconciliation Day held to remember Indigenous school abuses

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