Nova Scotia announced on Wednesday it now requires retail stores to close on Canada Day, regardless of the day of the week it happens on.
The Retail Council of Canada says New Brunswick’s government should follow suit.
Until now, when Canada Day fell on a Sunday (as it will this year), stores in Nova Scotia would be open on the Sunday but would have to close on Monday.
“This is a win-win all the way around for the retail sector,” Jim Cormier, the organization’s Atlantic director said in an interview Wednesday morning in Halifax.
He said his organization has been working for nearly six years to bring about change to “this red-tape issue,” and employees will be happy to be able to enjoy Canada Day celebrations on the same day.
Cormier said he’s disappointed that Nova Scotia’s neighbour isn’t adopting the same change.
“[New Brunswick] flat out refused to listen to any of our advocacy and our efforts to try and effect the exact same change in that province,” he said. “Retail workers are not going to be happy because they’re going to miss out on the Canada Day festivities with their families.”
A response from the New Brunswick government wasn’t immediately available.
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Mark Dobson, Atlantic director of the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada, said he’s concerned that workers in Nova Scotia will lose a three-day weekend.
“It just looks like some greed from certain employers in trying to solve their problem, which is a staffing issue,” he said in a phone interview from Truro, N.S.
Depending on several factors, employees who work on holidays are entitled to get “the amount the employee would have normally received for that day and one-and-a-half times the employee’s regular rate of wages,” according to the provincial government’s website.
In an email to Global News, Nova Scotia government spokesperson Chrissy Matheson said Canada Day is the only holiday this change impacts.
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