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 resident leads crusade against cigarettes in B.C. drugstores

Province allows drugstores to sell cigarettes and some feel policy should change, retailers disagree

Residential construction activity slows across Greater Victoria

Vancouver Island Construction Association warns of ‘mixed outlook’

Federal government funds 60 ‘micro-loft’ rental units set to open on Fort Street

The Sawyer Block at 840 Fort St. will house affordable units and a small amount of retail space

VICTORIA FRINGE FEST: There’s always something new to discover on stage

33rd annual live theatre festival has numerous styles and topics to choose from

PHOTOS: India Mela celebrates culture, dance and food

The annual downtown event brought culture and fun together

Clean the house, prep for your next trip: Tips to nix the post-vacation blues

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

Vancouver Island senior found safe with help from six search and rescue teams

Wayne Strilesky found safe in thick brush in north Nanaimo

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

Couple could go to jail for taking 88 lbs. of Italian sand

Pair said they didn’t know it was illegal to take the sand, which is protected as a public good

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Margaret Atwood talks Handmaid’s Tale sequel at UVic

Sold-out Sept. 27 event illustrates iconic Canadian author’s popularity in literary haven of Victoria

Hearings begin as Vancouver Island mom fights for allegedly abducted daughter

Tasha Brown now in Jersey in the British Isles, fundraiser being held in Nanaimo

Most Read