Minister of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government Margaret MacDiarmid and Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Pat Bell were joined by families and community members at the Royal B.C. Museum today to announce a consultation process with British Columbians for choosing which Monday in February will be the new official statutory holiday, Family Day.
Whether families choose to enjoy a local tourist attraction, a visit to a park, a meal out, a day of skiing or just to spend time with their loved ones, celebrating Family Day will be a great chance for families to spend quality time together starting February 2013 - and British Columbians now have the opportunity to tell government which day will work best for them.
Government will begin a citizen engagement process with the public, and consult with worker groups, employers, the tourism industry and the broader business sector in order to ensure all potential economic and social benefits are taken into account before finalizing a February date for the new holiday.
By having Family Day on the third Monday in February, British Columbians will share the same day with five other Canadian provinces, and with the United States' President's Day. By having it on the second Monday, British Columbians will be able to enjoy not only ski hills, but also parks and other local attractions throughout the Province without other long-weekend traffic.
Since unveiling its Open Government plan in 2011, the Province has implemented a number of new policies and programs including the launch of the Open Information and DataBC websites, as well as a major redesign of the government's web presence to make it more citizen-focused and user-friendly. In the coming months, B.C. will introduce a new public engagement website to better communicate and collaborate with British Columbians.
Minister of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government Margaret MacDiarmid -
"Supporting B.C. families is a priority for our government, and the new Family Day holiday is just another example of how we're helping grow stronger families and communities all across the province."
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Pat Bell -
"Every B.C. family is unique, but one thing we all share in common is we're some of the hardest workers around. By waiting to implement the holiday until 2013, and consulting on the best timing of the holiday, we'll ensure we find the most appropriate date, and maximize the benefit to families and to business."
Marilee Peters, acting executive director, B.C. Council for Families -
"B.C.'s new Family Day is a chance to celebrate the wonderful diversity of families in our province, and the contribution that our loved ones make to our lives and our communities."
"Giving families this opportunity to spend time with one another is so valuable, especially now when our lives are increasingly busy and hectic. Family Day can be a chance for us all to take a moment to reflect on the importance of family, and to think about how we can make time for family throughout the year."
Marianne Drew-Pennington, executive director B.C. Association of Family Resource Programs -
"Research indicates that families have the greatest influence on children's development and designating a day in their honour validates moms, dads and all those raising kids across the province. We applaud the provincial government for acknowledging the contribution of this often overlooked and overworked group who are integral to B.C.'s future."
Lana Denoni, chair, Tourism Industry Association of B.C. -
"There are so many things for families in British Columbia to explore and often so little time to do so. Simultaneously, Family Day provides a branding opportunity for the tourism industry by reinforcing the message to Stay and Play on Family Day."
"By enjoying a vacation in the province, families are supporting local businesses and contributing to B.C.'s economy, while at the same time discovering why British Columbia is super natural."
Stuart McLaughlin, chair, Minister's Council on Tourism and president, Grouse Mountain Resorts -
"The resort industry across British Columbia is pleased to support the introduction of a winter holiday for B.C. families. It is proven that many enterprises benefit from the adjacent jurisdictions celebrating their own February weekend. Holding our own will enable families throughout the Province to share valuable recreation time on our mountains and throughout the community."
B.C. Family Day will be a welcome boost to our thriving recreation industry, will support jobs and will facilitate growth."
- The consultation process will begin May 8 and close May 22 this year.
- Citizens can share their thoughts at: http://blog.gov.bc.ca/bcfamilyday/ or on Facebook or Twitter using: #mybcfd
- With the addition of Family Day in 2013, the province will have ten statutory holidays.
- In 2012, British Columbia, families had a long stretch between New Year's Day and the Easter Break without a long weekend - 94 days.
- Family Day is celebrated in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario on the third Monday in February.
- Manitoba and P.E.I. also have statutory holidays on the third Monday in February, but they are not officially referred to as Family Day.
- On a statutory holiday, eligible employees can be given the day off work paid at their regular rate of pay. If they work, they must be paid at premium rates of pay plus receive another day's regular wage.
- Employers and individual employees or the majority of employees can agree to substitute another day off with pay instead of the designated statutory holiday.
To Learn More:
Visit the Ministry of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government: www.gov.bc.ca/citz
Ministry of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government