EDITORIAL: B.C. Family Day not free for all

Businesses cover the cost of providing another stat holiday

This weekend marks B.C.’s first Family Day statutory holiday, which for most people breaks that long three-month stretch between New Year’s Day and Easter.

B.C. residents now enjoy 10 stat holidays (11 if your employer is nice enough to throw in Boxing Day), which ties us with Saskatchewan as the most generous province for the coveted long weekend.

By contrast, Nova Scotians and Newfoundlanders only have five.

While Greater Victorians enjoy recounting their youth by listening to Trooper in the Inner Harbour on Monday, or take advantage of the many activities offered at recreation centres across the region, people should remember not everybody can afford an extra day off.

When Premier Christy Clark announced the creation of Family Day in October 2011, she expected that by now a better economy would balance out the extra costs to businesses.

But many small retailers and companies are struggling as the economy remains flat at best. They are paying out more due to a higher minimum wage, and all are now contemplating the cost and hassle of returning to the GST/PST system.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business estimates a small business with five employees will shell out about $1,135 for Family Day and it will cost small and medium sized businesses $42 million in lost productivity.

Municipal and provincial governments will also shell out more for essential service employees and the hundreds of thousands of people on the public payroll.

This holiday can be seen as rather blatant pandering to the electorate by the the B.C. Liberals, or an attempt to give hard-working B.C.ers a break – perhaps it’s a bit of both.

And while the majority of us will enjoy the Monday off work, it’s important to acknowledge the many small business owners in our community who will see it as nothing but an added burden.

Just Posted

Saanich rides ahead with Active Transportation Plan

Saanich plans to double the share of all trips made by active transportation by 2050.

Suman, mom of Reena Virk, has died

Mother of 1997 murder victim became an activist against bullying

CRD tightens leash on dog walkers

Five regional parks in Sooke now have new restrictions on dogs

Sausage Fest runs June 23 from noon to 9 p.m. at Willows Beach Park

Grab a sausage and drink and enjoy live music or watch your… Continue reading

Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

Independent schools continue to top Fraser Institute secondary school list

Think tank says its ratings are fair to all schools, public and private

Former Somali child refugee fights to stay in Canada

Former child refugee Abdoul Abdi’s judicial review set for today in Halifax

U.S. border separations ripple through midterm campaigns

Several Republicans to break from President Donald Trump amid boarder separation issues

AFN chief accused of being too close to Trudeau

Perry Bellegarde insists he is not that close to the Liberals as elections looms

Three injured after industrial explosion in Newfoundland

The roof of the warehouse was blown off in the explosion near St. John’s

Ottawa Senators trade Mike Hoffman, less than a week after allegations involving partner

Following the trade Senators make no mention of allegations against Hoffman’s partner

Drive-thru voting in Saanich crashes over environmental concerns

Environmental concerns over climate change could stall drive-thru voting in Saanich. Angila… Continue reading

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Most Read