05/23/2012 04:47 EDT | Updated 07/23/2012 05:12 EDT

Manitoba government says expanded Sunday shopping could be in place by fall

WINNIPEG - Manitobans could be shopping on Sunday mornings by the fall.

The NDP government introduced a bill Wednesday that would loosen the current law, which allows most retail outlets to open only between noon and 6 p.m. on Sundays and some holidays such as Victoria Day, Thanksgiving and Louis Riel Day.

The new law would allow stores to open earlier — at 9 a.m. — but still force them to close at 6 p.m.

The final decision will rest with municipalities, who must pass bylaws to adopt Sunday shopping within their area.

Labour Minister Jennifer Howard says if the bill becomes law this spring, municipalities will likely have enough time to mull over the changes by the fall.

The changes will not affect holidays when stores must remain closed or open on reduced hours — Christmas, New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Canada Day, Remembrance Day and Labour Day.