B.C. Family Day

I’m a husband and father of three young children and am writing to my fellow British Columbians for your support. 

Background

B.C.’s Family Day will take place this year on Monday, February 8th, which is a week before the other provinces in Canada who recognize their respective statutory holidays on the following Monday – including the entire United States.

In May 2012, the Provincial Government undertook a public engagement process to which they state they “received an overwhelming response,” garnering 31,146 responses.  This represents less than 1% of the provincial population. 18,202 or 58% of these votes elected for the second Monday in February. These votes were strongly supported by ski and tourism sectors, as certain ski resorts leveraged their social media reach to have members vote on-line. 

Negative Impact

Since the Province of B.C. published their BC Family Day Public Engagement and Consultation report, it is clear that a number of unintended consequences have resulted in choosing a different day from the rest of the country and U.S. There are two costs we as British Columbians incur every year this happens:

Social

Who Doesn’t Benefit:

  • A child with a parent who works in financial services, import/export or is a federal employee.
  • Any parent with a child going to university/college in another province.
  • A young person from another province going to university/college in B.C.
  • A family with brothers/sisters/parents/grand-parents living across multiple provinces or in the U.S.

Economic

Here’s how the numbers stack up:

  • Annual GDP for the Province of B.C. is $237.2 billion.

Ski resorts represent $731 million or 0.30%.

Goods and Services exported to other provinces ($38.4 billion) and to the United States ($17.5 billion) total $55.9 billion or 23.6%.

  • Estimated loss of exports is estimated at $153 million.
  • Higher labour costs (by way of overtime pay) for employers to keep their businesses open.
  • Lower productivity for businesses who sell to other provinces and the U.S. the following Monday.
  • Added child care expenses for parents of young children who have to work.

Make a Change

Christy Clark and the current provincial government should be applauded for bringing the Family Day holiday to B.C.  Most British Columbians benefit from having a statutory holiday during the long period between New Years and Easter.  If the “spirit” of the holiday is to bring as many families together as possible, then changing the holiday to the third Monday in February just makes sense. I’m asking the Government of British Columbia to change B.C. Family Day to the third Monday in February. Let’s make this a holiday that everyone can enjoy.

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