Starting next year, B.C.’s Family Day will be moved to the third week in February so families across the country can celebrate together, announced Premier John Horgan last week.
Family Day was established in British Columbia in 2013 following a consultation process that had recommended the holiday be on either the second or third Monday of February. The government of the day decided on the second Monday, even though it was inconsistent with other Canadian provinces and the United States.
In announcing the change for 2019, Premier Horgan says Family Day will now be better aligned for businesses and families.
“Moving Family Day is the right thing to do for businesses small and large, and is better for families who may be spread out across the country,” said Premier Horgan. “This gives families an opportunity to schedule and spend more time with loved ones from other provinces.”
Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok says that when the BC Liberals chose to set Family Day on a separate weekend, it was done after a lot of consultation.
“People were pleased with the date. They wanted it separate,” he said. “Fast forward to today and you have the NDP government arbitrarily deciding to change the date.”
One of the industries lobbying hardest for a separate date back in 2012 was the ski industry. The Canada West Ski Area Association has been vocal about their desire to keep the long weekends separate.
“No doubt this will have a huge impact on tourism business in the Kootenays,” Clovechok said. “I’ve spoken to hoteliers, ski hill operators, restauranteurs. They’re livid.
“The decision to make the switch meets the needs of folks in the Lower Mainland. Make no mistake, the NDP of today are an urban party. The majority of their seats are in the Lower Mainland. They have very few rural seats and their focus is always going to be on the Lower Mainland.
“But this move will have a huge impact on the ski industry. Potentially, people could lose jobs.”