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

Oak Bay kicks off Christmas with 18th annual light up

The lights come on Nov. 25 at 5 p.m. after an audience rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas

Senseless vandalism rocks historic Sooke mansion

Neighbours plead for something to be done

Transportation Safety Board’s out-of-date data system makes it hard to track trends

An upgrade to the system will be coming in the next fiscal year

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

McDonald’s brings back $1 coffee

Deal runs from Nov. 19 until Dec. 16 in Greater Victoria

Shots fired near Chicago hospital, multiple victims: police

Police say at least one possible offender has been shot

B.C. to allow ride hailing services to operate in 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Elections BC keeps eye on Canada Post dispute, but no change in Nov. 30 deadline

Vote No spokesman say an extension of one or two weeks would ensure all ballots are counted

Langley school pulls Japanese ‘rising sun’ flag after student petition

School district promises consultation with students and parents, defends using flag for war history

Calgary bobsled death inquiry recommends infrared technology, safety audits

A judge found the deaths of 17-year-old twins Evan and Jordan Caldwell were accidental and caused by blunt-force head and neck trauma

First ski hill in B.C. opened this weekend

Sun Peaks, near Kamloops, was the first ski hill in the province to open for season

$50k fine and community service for Vancouver Island tax evader

David Gonyea was given a nine-month conditional sentence

Most Read