No stat holiday in BC for Queen's funeral

Sep 13 2022, 11:26 pm

Schools and government offices in BC will close for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday, but the province stopped short of designating it a holiday for workers in the private sector.

BC followed the federal government’s lead in designating September 19 a day of mourning for the Queen’s passing but hasn’t made the day a statutory holiday for everyone. 

Provincial public-sector employers will get the day off work to “reflect on the incredible life of Canada’s Queen and the longest-serving monarch in British history.”

“K-12 public schools and public post-secondary institutions, and most Crown corporations will be closed,” the province says.

As for private-sector companies, it’s up to the employer whether to grant staff the day off.

“We encourage private-sector employers to find a way to recognize or reflect on the day in a way that is appropriate for their employees.”

Earlier in the day, the prime minister confirmed that the government would be letting federal employees know that they will not work on the day of the funeral.

Justin Trudeau added the government would consult with provinces and territories “to try to see that we’re aligned on this” but there was some concern from a small business lobby group. 

Canadian Federation of Independent Business President and CEO Dan Kelly urged provinces not to follow suit because it only gave businesses a few days to prepare. 

He also said it will cost the economy billions and be deeply unfair to small businesses. 

“This would mean paying more in order to stay open.”

Prince Edward Island announced Monday will be a one-time statutory holiday.

“Islanders are encouraged to spend the day commemorating the life of Queen Elizabeth II in whatever manner they choose,” a statement from PEI reads.

Meanwhile, Quebec’s premier assured the province’s citizens that they would not be getting the day off.

The state funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey on Monday, September 19, at 11 am local time.

The Queen died surrounded by the royal family last Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Monday in the UK is a commemorative holiday with no requirement for businesses to close or pay in lieu. 

Other Commonwealth countries like Australia and New Zealand, have both announced public holidays on September 22 and September 26, respectively. 

Nikitha MartinsNikitha Martins

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