Monday, February 17, 2014


Feb 17th, the third Monday of the month is a family day in Alberta, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Saskatchewan. British Columbia has a family day on the second Monday of February. The Americans commemorate the birth and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr on the third Monday of January.

A number of businesses and organizations have begun scheduling a family day around the third Monday of February to allow families an extra day to enjoy activities and enjoy a mental health break during the long Canadian Winter. The Newfoundland and Labrador School Board has given staff and students the day off, so has Sun Cor.

Here on the rock and up in the Big Land it is business as normal. We have six public holidays throughout the year. There are New Years’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day (Canada Day), Labour Day, Remembrance Day, and Christmas Day. 

Following that schedule there is no official public holiday from New Year's Day to Good Friday. If you are a public servant, or at least in one of the unions that have been successful in keeping the optional holidays, there are another four - St. Patrick's Day, St. George's Day, Discovery Day and Orangemen's Day.

Municipalities are permitted to designate one day a year as a civic holiday. St. John's celebrates this holiday on the first Wednesday of August depending on the weather. The entire city wakes up early to catch the weather report. The holiday is not decided by the Premier or the Mayor, it is decided by the Royal Regatta Committee. They decide, based on wind conditions at Quidi Vidi Lake, whether The Royal St. John's Regatta is a go.  The Regatta, the oldest continuing sporting event in North America, draws in excess of 60,000 spectators each year!

I know, what about snow days?

It is interesting that private business and six other provinces see the necessity of  a February break. It is a great way to boost morale and provide government and business time to plan.

The government in this province would do well to bring forward legislation to give resident's of this province a family day to relax, not to mention the obvious good will it might receive in exchange from the people.

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