Starting this year, Nunavut Day will be a statutory holiday in the territory, meaning employees in industries regulated by the territory will be eligible for a day off with pay.
That can include those working for Nunavut-owned businesses, grocery stores and construction, according to a Nunavut government press release sent Tuesday.
Previously, the July 9 holiday only applied to government of Nunavut employees.
The change does not apply to government of Canada employees and workers in other federally regulated industries, who are subject to the federal Holidays Act and the Canada Labour Code regarding holidays.
The holiday marks when Parliament passed the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act on July 9 in 1993.
Territorial leaders also considered the idea of making Nunavut Day a holiday in 2018 but MLAs decided at the time to wait to see whether Parliament was going to pass legislation to make Sept. 30 a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
The Nunavut government has estimated that another statutory holiday would come at a cost of $1.8 million. CBC News previously reported that number wouldn’t include the cost of shift work, 24-hour facilities, call-outs and overtime costs.
The government also estimated the holiday would cost the territory’s private sector $1.2 million.