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Canada Day celebrations cancelled in Wilmot

The committee says it's out of respect for the grief of Indigenous Peoples
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Canadian flag/Shutterstock

Canada Day celebrations have been cancelled in Wilmot Township.

The committee, unanimous in their decision, said it's out of respect for the Indigenous community's grief at this time.

"There are moments when family and community members experience great loss, and we have no words, we stop, sit, and grieve in silence with them. This simple silent action can convey support in a powerful way that is felt rather than heard," said Councillor Angie Hallman in a release.
 
"While Canada Day traditionally brings to mind many reasons to be grateful, for example, to recognize those who  have served to protect our collective rights and freedoms, for cherished time together with family and friends. Yet, there is much work we must do as a nation. This is not the story for everyone on this land."

Regional Councillor Michael Harris found the decision upsetting, having represented Wilmot as an MPP in the past.

Harris told the Mike Farwell Show that his family starts every Canada Day with the annual breakfast in Wilmot.

"We shouldn't be looking for ways to further divide Canadians, we should be bringing them together," said Harris.

He said Canada Day could have an element of education about reconciliation and the country's past, but still celebrate what it is today and the veterans who fought for those freedoms.

The cancellation comes as the country faces renewed calls for reconciliation, with 215 unmarked graves of children being discovered on the grounds of a former residential school in British Columbia.

Wilmot is also in the process of determining the future of the Prime Ministers Path, and the Sir John A Macdonald statue.

That statue was the subject of peaceful protest last summer due to Macdonald's role in setting up residential schools, including being covered in red paint to represent the blood of Indigenous Peoples.

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