B.C.'s First Ever Family Day Causes Headaches For Some

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B.C.'s federal government employees won't be able to enjoy the province's first Family Day. (Shutterstock)
B.C.'s federal government employees won't be able to enjoy the province's first Family Day. (Shutterstock)

While most British Columbians will be off work for the province’s first-ever Family Day holiday on Monday, thousands of workers aren't getting a long weekend.

When Christy Clark announced the creation of B.C.'s newest holiday she pushed the positives of holding Family Day a week before other provinces.

The second week in February was chosen last year after more than 18,000 people voted for it in an online poll, nearly twice as many as those who voted for the third week of the month used by other provinces.

"There won't be lineups, there won't be the crush of people, and hopefully there will be better deals," said Clark.

But the premier's optimism isn't shared by Scott Young, the managing director at Fortunate Sun Mining in Vancouver. He says those in the financial industry can't take the day off because the stock exchange and other key institutions in Toronto will be open.

"Unfortunately when the markets are open in Toronto we have to be at our desks," said Young.

No federal holiday

Similarly, because Family Day is a provincially mandated holiday, employees of the federal government are not entitled to the day off.

Jennifer Chieh Ho, a Public Service Alliance of Canada member, says she and 18,000 colleagues employed by the federal government still have to go in Monday, and that's causing some headaches.

“Some businesses as well as daycare businesses will be closed for that day where it will result in parents having to scramble to get daycare, and also the other potential is that transit hours will be affected.”

Chieh Ho says Family Day should be a federally recognized holiday.

“In my office I do have quite a few young workers who have little children, and those of them have had to take time off in order for them to spend time with their family, their spouses,” she said.

“So if it's not for everybody, if it's not a national recognized holiday, I think it defeats the purpose."

TransLink is operating on holiday hours Monday, meaning those who don't get the day off may want to plan ahead to make sure the services they need are still running.

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