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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unemployment surpasses historic high in Greater Victoria, tourism hit hard

Hospitality and tourism sectors hurting as pandemic continues

Victoria tattoo shops respond to sex assault allegations against male artists

Carne Tattoo and Painted Lotus Studios respond to allegations

Mayor not in favour of low barrier housing at Oak Bay Lodge

Process is already in place to determine future of Oak Bay Lodge

Sidney asking tourists to respect health guidelines

Messaging says Sidney is ‘excited to welcome smart, safe, and respectful visits’

Victoria seeks court order to enforce sheltering rules in Beacon Hill Park

People being asked to move out of environmentally sensitive areas of park

VIDEO: Langford cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Most Read