National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Courts in BC will be closed on September 30, 2021, to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
September 30 sign

The new federal statutory holiday was created after many court matters were already scheduled on that date. September 30 was chosen because it builds on the grassroots momentum of Orange Shirt Day.

The Supreme Court has posted information about resetting matters on its scheduling page. The Provincial Court has issued Notice to the Profession NP25. Counsel with matters set on September 30 are advised to take measures well in advance of that date to reschedule. Where all parties are represented by counsel, consent adjournments are strongly encouraged. We anticipate that the courts will continue to look at various scenarios where parties are not represented by counsel. There may be some updates to the posted procedures in upcoming weeks. 

The Provincial Court notice includes specific procedures that will apply if matters have not been rescheduled in advance of September 30. These procedures vary by area of law and are designed to preserve jurisdiction in specific cases. In some family and civil matters, this may involve re-serving materials. Court registries will contact parties to reschedule matters, but for many counsel it may be more effective to begin the process yourself.

Weekend criminal duty counsel procedures will be in effect on September 30. Regular in-custody criminal duty counsel assignments on September 30 will be cancelled and replaced with assignments in the five hub sites which cover all locations in the province.

Family duty counsel and Family LawLINE assignments for September 30 will be cancelled. Legal Aid BC, including all legal aid intake offices, will be closed.

About Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day, held annually on September 30, opens the door to global conversation about residential schools. It’s an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of residential schools and their legacy. It encourages discussion among all Canadians along the path towards truth and reconciliation. It’s also a day to reaffirm that all residential school survivors matter, and that every child matters. 

September 30 was chosen because it is the time of year when children were taken from their homes to residential schools. It’s an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies in schools. It also invites First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for future generations.