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A Holiday Which is Not a Holiday

What if they Held a Holiday and a City Ignored it?

In Ontario, this coming Monday is a “Holiday” for lots of folks, and it is called The Unknown Holiday Family Day, and this “Holiday” was implemented a few years back, by the McGuinty Provincial Government. Nice idea, a day off in February so that there is a break in the winter, might even catch on (one day).

Banks are closed on this day, Schools are closed, City Services are curtailed, many stores are closed and such, however, in Ottawa (the nation’s capital), because this is a “new” holiday for the Public Service, no one in the Federal Government actually gets the day off as a Statutory Holiday.

The buses will most likely be running on a curtailed schedule, yet pretty much every Federal Government employee is expected to show up to work on Monday. I have also heard that there are many private companies that haven’t adopted this day off officially (they have instead given employees a floating holiday that they can take Monday or some other day instead).

What does this mean? Ottawa becomes very schizophrenic on Monday, with some folks taking a long weekend, others having to find alternate child care because their kids have the day off, yet the parents have to go to work, and still more folks developing a bad case of the “Family Day Grippe”. Productivity will not be high, is my guess as well.

I can’t figure out whether this is the Federal Government thumbing it’s nose at the Provincial Government, or just a very interesting screw up. I doubt PSAC will fight for this day off, since Public Servants already get Remembrance Day off, so this odd “UN-Holiday” will continue on in Ottawa. Across the river in Gatineau folks over there will wonder why all the rich Ontarians are coming across the river to buy their groceries on Monday too (it is not a holiday in Quebec either (I don’t think)).

Is this a Holiday, or not? What does this have to do with Personal Finance? Not much, but it’s an interesting quandary.


Feel Free to Comment

  1. Provincial labour law and federal labour law are distinct. If you work for a federally-regulated employer, the federal laws apply. Provincially-regulated = Ontario Employment Standards Act. Also, collective agreements may be in the mix for the feds; provincially, collective agreements must meet or exceed the minimums established in the Employment Standards Act (not so in Alberta, resulting in company unions like CLAC).

    1. Precisely. The Federal employees bargain for their Stat Holidays and since this day wasn’t around at the time of the last contract, it is not available, we shall see in the future.

  2. This is very strange indeed! I had not heard of this before. The Federal Employees must at least get holiday pay or something- isn’t this the law?! I would think that the government is supposed to follow the labour laws…

  3. I always thought that family day is a satutary holiday for everyone. It really sucks if you need to go back to work while everyone else is having a day off. Although this got nothing to do with financial planning, I always wonder why banks got the rememberance day off while I need to go to work. What is the meaning of this?

  4. Glad I work for the OPS and not the Feds! We get the day off. With a compressed work week (33m a day for every 3rd Friday off) I will spend 4 days truly spending time with my family as my sister will visit from Ottawa on Saturday until sometime Sunday. She will spend time with us and her new nephew – but she works for the Feds, so back to work for her Monday.

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