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Wilmot Township, west of Kitchener, cancels Canada Day festivities

A volunteer waves Canadian flags while handing them out to people during Canada Day festivities in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A township in Waterloo Region says it has decided to cancel Canada Day festivities this year.

Wilmot Township says it made the decision in light of the discovery of what are believed to be the remains of 215 Indigenous children at a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.

The township’s Canada Day committee chairwoman, Coun. Angie Hallman, says the decision is out of respect for the Indigenous community’s grief.

The township says event organizers will be offering a public art experience in lieu of celebrations.

Last week, the City of Victoria announced it was cancelling its virtual Canada Day celebration after councilors voted to scrap it.

It said the celebration will be replaced by a broadcast to air in the summer guided by the Lekwungen people and featuring local artists.