Here's why Quebec doesn't celebrate Family Day like the rest of Canada

Feb 20 2023, 2:30 pm

In most Canadian provinces, the third Monday in February is observed as a statutory holiday, known as Family Day.

But Quebec isn’t like most Canadian provinces.

Family Day is observed in New Brunswick, Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia.

Other provinces have holidays on the third Monday in February, it’s just not called Family Day. Prince Edward Island celebrates Islander Day, Manitoba celebrates Louis Riel Day, and Nova Scotia celebrated Heritage Day.

So, while the rest of the country is out enjoying a much-needed long weekend in the heart of winter, Quebecers do not.

Have you ever wondered why your friends and family in other parts of the country have a long weekend and you don’t?

Family Day was originally created to give people time to spend with their families but it also offers a much-deserved day off between New Year’s Day and Good Friday, which is about three months apart.

The third Monday in February is just another workday for Quebecers for a couple of reasons, mostly having to do with the fact that most provinces have double-digit holidays across Canada but Quebec only has eight.

In fact, Quebec has the lowest amount of working holidays in the entire country, tied at the bottom of the holiday barrel with Manitoba. Yukon has the most holidays in Canada, celebrating 12 per year. Alberta, Newfoundland, and PEI celebrate eleven holidays and BC, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the Northwest Territories, Ontario, and Saskatchewan have ten.

Quebec doesn’t observe Family Day as a stat holiday because it celebrates Journée nationale des Patriotes the Monday before May 23 (the only province in Canada to do so) as well as its Fête nationale du Québec every June 24.

Essentially, we sacrifice a day off in mid-February for one in the spring and one in the middle of summer.

Here are the eight holidays Quebec observes:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Easter Monday or Friday (employer’s choice)
  • Journée nationale des Patriotes
  • Fête nationale du Québec
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

What do you think? Should Quebec up its holiday game and join in on Family Day like the rest of its Canadian neighbours?

On Monday, you might think so.

DH Montreal StaffDH Montreal Staff

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