Family Day on the move

UPDATE: 2:30 p.m.

BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver applauded the NDP government's move to move next year's Family Day to fall on the same weekend as Alberta.

“Family Day is for families,” Weaver said Friday in West Kelowna. “People who take our Family Day off are not having the same day off as the rest of North America and when they have their day off, we have to go back to work, so it was actually bad for business to have the two separate ones.”

Weaver, who introduced a similar unsuccessful private member's bill last year, said the only reason the days were different was due to lobbying from B.C.'s ski industry.

“With BC Liberals it's corporate lobbying, that's the way they did their politics,” Weaver said.

“I predict that it'll have zero affect on the ski industry, what affects the ski industry is the quality of the snow.”

UPDATE: 1:50 p.m.

British Columbia is falling into step with the rest of the country by moving its Family Day to the third Monday in February, starting next year.

Premier John Horgan says the change is meant to better align the holiday with other provinces to help businesses and families.

Horgan has mused about changing the date before.

Green Leader Andrew Weaver has always backed the move, even introducing a private member's bill last year to amend the law.

In bringing in the bill, Weaver highlighted a petition by the founder of a campaign called #UniteFamilyDay that had more than 20,000 signatures.

A government news release on Friday announcing the change included the support of the CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade.

"The misalignment of Family Day causes inconvenience, increased costs, and lost opportunity for businesses of all sizes and in various industries," said Anita Huberman. "The economic benefit from this change will greatly assist our members, and especially small- and medium-sized businesses, across the province."

– The Canadian Press

ORIGINAL: 1:30 p.m.

Premier John Horgan announced today Family Day will be moved to the third week of February, in line with other Canadian provinces.

"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."

Family Day was created in 2013 by the BC Liberal government, which placed it on the second Monday of February in part to help to encourage cross-border tourism to B.C. ski resorts. 

Multiple Okanagan ski resorts pushed to have the statutory holiday placed on the second week of the month.

Castanet News will update with local reaction to the change.

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