August 23, 2019 12:47 pm

Tories pledge to remove Sunday shopping, stat holiday restrictions for Manitoba businesses

A shopper carries their purchases in shopping bags as they walk in a mall on Boxing Day, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

The Canadian Press

Manitoba Progressive Conservatives are promising to allow grocery stores to be open on Sundays and statutory holidays if they are re-elected in September.

Leader Brian Pallister says Manitobans deserve the flexibility to buy groceries and other goods when they want.

Earlier this year, the owner of an independent chain of Winnipeg grocery stores criticized the law which requires store to close after he received a $10,000 fine for opening on a holiday.

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READ MORE: Independent grocer faces $10,000 fine for opening Winnipeg store on Good Friday

Munther Zeid, who owns several Food Fare locations in the city, called the ticket and the law unfair at the time.

“It’s a stat holiday, a general holiday, and yet this morning I looked on the website after getting the ticket, the general holiday also shows Victoria Day, which just happened a week or so ago.

“Why can a weed store [open], on a religious holiday that both levels of government are afraid to make a change on … you can open up a weed store, a casino, and sell liquor.”

Pallister called the law outdated and unnecessary.

However, he said any change to the law would not impact the requirement to keep stores closed during specific hours on Remembrance Day.

According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, a recent survey shows 62 per cent support for Manitoba stores being given the choice to open on stautory holidays, and that number increases to 68 per cent within the city of Winnipeg.

Manitobans go to the polls on Sept. 10.

-With files from the Canadian Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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