Victoria City Council have voted unanimously to change their plans for a virtual Canada Day broadcast, and instead, produce a broadcast to air later this summer guided by the Lekwungen people.
Mayor Lisa Helps announced the decision on Thursday, June 10th.
The move was prompted by the recent discovery of the remains of 215 children at a former Residential School in Kamloops.
The social media traction of the hashtag #CancelCanadaDay on Twitter, as well as organized rallies by Indigenous protest movement Idle No More on July 1st may have also been factors in the decision.
Council noted that everyone will mark Canada Day in their own way on July 1st.
“Now is a time where the City can take leadership and provide an opportunity for thoughtful reflection and examination of what it means to be Canadian in light of recent events and what we already know from our past,” said the City’s media release.
“As First Nations mourn and in light of the challenging moment we are in as a Canadian nation following the discovery of the remains of 215 children at a former Residential School, Council has decided to take the time to explore new possibilities, instead of the previously planned virtual Canada Day broadcast,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.
The date of a new broadcast has not yet been set.