Ontario, Canada celebrates Family Day
Monday, February 18, 2008
Under new legislation passed shortly after their re-election in October, the provincial Liberal government under Premier Dalton McGuinty introduced the statutory holiday, called , to be celebrated on the third Monday of every February, starting this year.
"There is nothing more valuable to families than time together. And yet it seems tougher than ever to find, with so many of us living such busy lives," McGuinty was quoted as saying in a press release.
"That's why, on the third Monday of this coming February — and every February from now on — Ontarians deserve a new statutory holiday — Family Day."
Due to the haste in which the holiday was introduced, courts were forced to reschedule cases booked before the holiday was approved. In Toronto, hundreds of drivers will receive an unexpected holiday from their traffic tickets as courts there have cancelled hundreds of minor cases.
The Canadian capital of Ottawa, Ontario is home to thousands of federal workers who are regulated under national rather than provincial labour laws, therefore Ontario's Family Day holiday does not apply to them. Meanwhile, management at the city's mall was surprised to learn that a tourist-related exemption that normally allows their stores to open does not automatically apply for newly-introduced holidays such as Family Day.
An estimated 40% of Ontario workers will not receive more time away from work due to Family Day due to various exemptions, or because their work is not under provincial jurisdiction. Meanwhile, many businesses complain of extra costs incurred because of an extra.
Family Day elsewhere
Ontario joins the province of Alberta and Saskatchewan in celebrating a Family Day on the third Monday of February. The holiday coincides with Manitoba's Day, celebrated on the same day starting this year. South Africa and the Australian Capital Territory ("Family and Community Day") have yearly Family Days on other dates.
- "Ottawa merchants blame Ontario for Family Day store closures" — , February 15, 2008
- Doug Alexander. "Ontario's New Family Day Sputters as Employers Keep Doors Open" — , February 14, 2008
- Press Release: Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario. "Need a source?: Family Day not benefitting 40 per cent of Ontario employees" — , January 25, 2008
- Robert Benzie. "Family Day a field day for scofflaws" — , January 17, 2008
- Jim Coyle. "Family Day not likely to be peaceful" — , January 10, 2008
- Robert Benzie & Rob Ferguson. "McGuinty proclaims new holiday" — , October 12, 2007
- Press Release: "Family Day To Be Celebrated Every Third Monday Of February" — , October 11, 2007