Premier hopeful promises Family Day for B.C.

Similar holidays already exist in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and P.E.I.
||Last Updated: 01/13/2011

The third Monday in February will be a new paid holiday for British Columbia workers if Christy Clark becomes the next leader of the B.C. Liberals and the province's new premier.

The ex-deputy premier would follow in the footsteps of Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan and call the new holiday Family Day. There are also similar holidays in Manitoba and Prince Edward Island (Louis Riel Day and Islander Day, respectively).

"In British Columbia, families will go 111 days this year – from New Year’s to Easter – without a chance to unwind and spend time together,” said Clark.

“British Columbians work long and hard, so this might be a way to help them through a lengthy stretch of the calendar and beat the winter blues. A February holiday may spark an increase in tourism and other family-related entertainment and allow for greater productivity as employees come back to work refreshed."

While workers support the idea, the move to another paid holiday would be bad for businesses because it will increase the cost of labour, said Jack Finlayson of the Business Council of B.C.

Clark has said she is eager to talk to businesses about their concerns and work together to find a way to make a mid-winter holiday work.

Clark is one of six candidates in the running to replace B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell. Party members will vote for the new leader at a convention in February.

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