07/05/2012 09:22 EDT | Updated 09/04/2012 05:12 EDT

Extended Sunday shopping hours changes to start next month in Manitoba

WINNIPEG - Manitobans may be able to go shopping on Sunday mornings starting next month — as long as their municipality passes an enabling bylaw.

Family Services and Labour Minister Jennifer Howard announced Thursday changes to the province’s Retail Businesses Holiday Closing Act come into effect Aug. 1.

But it’s uncertain whether municipalities will be able to respond in time for shoppers to take advantage of the new provincial law immediately.

Last month, the Selinger government passed legislation allowing municipalities to extend Sunday shopping to between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Under current law, retailers that regularly operate with four or more staff can only be open between noon and 6 p.m. on Sundays.

The new provincial law also allows retailers to expand their hours on Louis Riel Day, Victoria Day and Thanksgiving Day.

Winnipeg has yet to pass an enabling bylaw, city communications officer Alissa Clark confirmed.

City council next meets on July 18. After July 18, council’s next scheduled meeting isn’t until September, though the mayor can call a special meeting.

Meanwhile, an official with one city shopping mall said even if the city does pass the necessary bylaw on time, retailers may not be ready for longer Sundays right away.

“I’d want to give my tenants lots of notice (of new Sunday shopping hours),” said Peter Havens, general manager at Kildonan Place Shopping Centre.

(Winnipeg Free Press)