NDP calls for more long weekends

Ontario NDP promises two more statutory holidays if elected

The “Friday flu” seems to affect young workers more than older workers, according to a new study by Orbitz, an airline-owned travel company.

The study found about one in five people admit to calling in sick to have a three-day weekend. Younger workers, those aged 18 to 34, were more likely than older colleagues to take a sick day when they didn’t need it. About 32 per cent in that age group admitted to faking sickness to take a day off.

But if Ontario’s New Democratic Party has its way, workers in the province will have less of a reason to phone in sick to get a long weekend. The party has promised to create two new statutory holidays if elected to government.

NDP MPP Peter Kormos said everyday Ontarians deserve more holidays and introduced a private members’ bill last week that would make this June 30 a public holiday. That would ensure everyone gets a long weekend this year since Canada Day falls on a Tuesday. The private members’ bill stands little chance of passing.

“White-collar workers — lawyers, accountants — they’re going to be taking Monday off anyway,” Kormos was quoted as saying in the Toronto Star.

He said creating new holidays would be an economic stimulant and would be a boon for the tourism and hospitality industries.

"Research has indicated that if you give people opportunities to work shorter work weeks and more flexible work times, you can increase economic growth by three per cent and employment by three per cent," said Kormos. "Statutory holidays are good things."

Number of statutory holidays varies

The number of holidays varies in different jurisdictions across Canada. Here’s a look:

Federal: Nine days.
Alberta: Nine days.
British Columbia: Nine days.
Saskatchewan: Nine days.
Northwest Territories: Nine days.
Yukon: Nine days.
Nunavut: Nine days.
Ontario: Eight days.
Quebec: Eight days.
Manitoba: Seven days.
New Brunswick: Six days.
Newfoundland and Labrador: Five days.
Prince Edward Island: Five days.
Nova Scotia:Five days.

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