Small Canadian businesses to suffer if Queen's funeral declared national holiday

Sep 13 2022, 6:38 pm

The president of a small business lobby group is warning that if provinces follow the federal government’s lead and mark September 19 as a national holiday, Canadian businesses will pay an “unfair” price.

As of now, Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday will be a federal holiday, according to the government.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau added the government will be working with provinces and territories “to try to see that we’re aligned on this” but some details still need ironing out. 

However, Canadian Federation of Independent Business President and CEO Dan Kelly is urging provinces not to follow suit.

With just a few days to prepare, Kelly says it will cost the economy billions and be deeply unfair to small businesses. 

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

If provinces agree, Monday will be a paid statutory holiday and workers regulated by provincial governments will get the day off work. This is about 85% to 90% of the workforce.

“Small businesses are already struggling with labour shortages and requiring them to close or pay time and a half to their employees with no notice would be extremely costly or result in a day’s lost productivity,” Kelly said. 

However, Kelly said provinces should follow the United Kingdom’s lead rather than the Government of Canada.

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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