A group representing Canadian businesses is urging provincial governments not to declare Monday, September 19 a statutory paid holiday.
Jasmin Guénette, vice president of national affairs for the Confederation of Canadian Independent Business (CFIB), told CTVNews.ca: “There are many ways you can honor the legacy of the Queen’s life. “But at the same time, it’s important not to hurt small businesses.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that Monday, September 19 will be a federal holiday and a day of national mourning as Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral will be held in London.
“We’re going to work with the provinces and territories to try and see that we’re a good fit on this,” Trudeau told reporters on Tuesday. “For our part, we will notify federal employees that Monday will be a day of mourning.”
Only federal government employees can take that day off, unless the provinces also declare a statutory holiday.
The prime ministers of Quebec and Ontario have said that the Queen’s funeral day will be a day of remembrance and mourning, similar to Memorial Day, but not a provincial holiday. However, provincial holidays will be celebrated in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. The other prime minister has yet to comment.
Following Trudeau’s announcement on Tuesday, the CFIB issued a statement urging provincial governments not to set September 19 as a statutory paid holiday.
“With a six-day notice, it would be deeply unfair to small businesses and cost the economy billions of dollars,” said a statement from CFIB president Dan Kelly. “Small businesses are grappling with labor shortages, and asking them to close or pay employees half-timed wages without notice would be extremely expensive or lead to a loss of productivity for a day. “
Founded in 1971, CFIB identifies itself as Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses. The nonprofit advocacy group now has more than 95,000 members.
“Typically, our members object to additional statutory holidays, citing cost,” explains Guénette.
The CFIB points to the UK as an example. There, September 19 will be a bank holiday, which means government services and schools will be closed, but businesses can remain open as usual.
“The UK hasn’t asked businesses to close that day, but the government is asking employers to show some flexibility,” Guénette said. Guénette urges Canadian businesses to also be flexible, perhaps by keeping a minute of silence or allowing employees time to reflect.
Elsewhere in the Commonwealth, people in Australia and New Zealand will be given a day off as these countries celebrate national holidays once after funerals, on September 22 and 26 respectively. September.
Other Canadian business groups, such as the Canadian Business Council, declined to comment on the matter.
A spokesperson for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce told CTVNews.ca: “Since the vast majority of workplaces are under provincial jurisdiction, we will leave that up to each province to decide how best to proceed. “However, we respect the federal government’s desire to act in areas of federal jurisdiction to mark the Queen’s funeral and to commemorate her exceptional personal contribution to Canada. “
With files from CTV News, congressional office writer Spencer Van Dyk