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Happy Family Day!

Published February 20, 2012 - 1 Comment

Today is Family Day in Canada.  Well, in certain parts of Canada.  OK, in 3 provinces of Canada.  And I don’t live in any of them… but to celebrate I stayed in bed until 3:30 in the afternoon!  Yup.  That counts for something, right?

There has been a movement in recent years to push for a statutory holiday in February, because of the long period between New Years Day and Good Friday.  Apparently most people polled seem to agree that there should be a paid day off in February to celebrate families.  Really?  Wow… that’s quite a shocker!  I’m guessing that even people without families are saying yes to that question.  Let’s be honest and call it what it really is… It’s Frickin’ Freezing Outside and I Don’t Want to Go to Work Day.  Celebrate family?  Yeah… ok.

So who are the lucky duckies who got to stay home today?  (other than moi… but it’s a regular day off for me)  Thankfully we have Wikipedia to answer that question!  Seems that the good people of Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan appreciate their families more than the rest of the country.  British Columbia is adding the holiday starting in 2013.  The rest of us… not so much.  Oh wait!  Manitoba has Louis Riel Day.  Not too shabby for a guy who was hanged for leading a rebellion!  Prince Edward Island has Islander Day.  Lame.  Every day should be Islander Day!  Then again, maybe every day should be Family Day too…  But for the rest of us… we have to wait until April until we see a day off… except people in Newfoundland and Labrador.. apparently some of them get St Patrick’s Day off with pay.  Hmm.. I wonder what they do to pass the time?

And if you’re in one of those provinces who dared to make people go to work today, and you’re thinking that you’re somehow missing out and having to work more than your counterparts in western Canada (and PEI)… you may be surprised to learn that there is quite a discrepancy from province to province as to what constitutes a statutory holiday, so the number varies quite a bit.  Think that Boxing Day is a national holiday?  Nope!  Chances are you probably get it off… but it’s not mandatory in all provinces.  How about Remembrance Day?  Sadly, no.  Not everywhere.  Ontario doesn’t consider it to be a statutory holiday, which really surprises me.  Family Day, yes.  Remembrance Day, no.  No offence to families everywhere, but I think that November 11 should be a mandatory day off for all Canadians (with obvious exceptions) to reflect on those who gave their lives to fight for our freedom.  Why Remembrance Day is not a national statutory holiday, I do not understand.

Think you know everything there is to know about holidays in Canada, and which ones you are entitled to by law?  You might be surprised.  I was!  Take a look at this list of Canadian public holidays.

And regardless of whether or not you had to go to work today… celebrate your family… not because you got paid to stay home… but because it’s the right thing to do.

Stephen