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Canada announces a holiday to mark Queen Elizabeth’s death. Here’s who gets it

WATCH: Ahead of Queen Elizabeth's state funeral on September 19, Ottawa has now also declared the day will be a federal holiday, allowing government workers to take the day off. In other words, it won't be a holiday for every Canadian. Eric Sorensen explains why – Sep 13, 2022

Canada will mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II with a national day of mourning on Sept. 19.

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The holiday will coincide with the queen’s funeral in London, U.K.

“We have also chosen to move forward with a federal holiday on Monday. We will be working with the provinces and the territories to try and see that we’re aligned on this. There are still a few details to be worked out, but declaring an opportunity for Canadians to mourn on Monday is going to be important,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday.

Australia announced earlier Monday a public holiday on Sept. 22 to mark the death, during which schools and businesses are expected to be closed, while New Zealand is setting aside Sept. 26 for its day to honour the queen.

Sept. 19 will be a bank holiday in the U.K.

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Before Canada’s announcement, there was speculation whether a holiday would be declared.

A “Day of Mourning” was observed after the passing of Queen Elizabeth’s father and predecessor King George VI in February 1952.

A commemorative ceremony will also be held in Ottawa on Sept. 19.

It will include a memorial parade featuring the Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP, a fly-over by CF-18s, as well as a 96-shot gun salute, one shot for every year of the queen’s life.

Who will get Monday off to mark Queen Elizabeth's death?

While Trudeau has said Monday would be a “federal holiday,” which normally applies to public servants and federally regulated workers, Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan later said in a tweet that federally regulated workers will not get the day off automatically.

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He said it would only be for “federal government employees.”

That would mean the roughly 910,000 federally regulated private sector workers in Canada will not get a surprise long weekend, while the approximately 319,000 public servants will get one.

Industries included in the federally regulated private sector are air transportation, banks, grain elevators and feed/seed mills, First Nations band councils and Indigenous self-governments, most federal Crown corporations such as Canada Post, port services, courier services, radio and television broadcasting, railways, transportation services that cross provincial or international borders, telecommunications, and uranium mining or atomic energy workers.

Employees of the House of Commons, the Senate and the Library of Parliament are also included, as are private-sector firms and municipalities in Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.

Trudeau has said it will be up to the provinces whether to observe the “federal holiday.”

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British Columbia

British Columbia says it will follow the federal government’s lead to observe the national day of mourning to mark the queen’s funeral.

“K-12 public schools and public post-secondary institutions, and most Crown corporations will be closed,” said B.C. Premier John Horgan in a statement. “We encourage private-sector employers to find a way to recognize or reflect on the day in a way that is appropriate for their employees.”


Alberta on Wednesday announced that province will mark Monday as a provincial day of mourning, but will not treat it as a statutory holiday.

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People are invited to attend an outdoor ceremony and moment of silence at 10 a.m. on Monday at the legislature.

“Workplaces, schools, offices and retail stores are encouraged to also observe the moment of silence,” a Wednesday news release from the province said.

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“As part of the day of mourning, all employers are encouraged to make accommodations for employees to either attend the ceremony at the legislature or otherwise mark the occasion of Her late Majesty’s funeral.”

The province added schools will be encouraged to give opportunities for students to take part in the mourning.


All non-essential government services and offices will be closed in Manitoba on Sept. 19, according to a news release from the Government of Manitoba.

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However, schools, child-care facilities and health care facilities will remain open.

Premier Heather Stefanson is “encouraging all schools to observe a moment of silence on the day,” it reads.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick will also close its government offices and schools “as part of the National Day of Mourning for the passing of the Queen,” a press release states.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador has declared Sept. 19 as a day to “honour the memory of Her late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II,” the government said on Twitter.

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This will be a one-time-only holiday, in which provincial government offices, schools and other entities will be closed, while the holiday remains optional for private business and employers.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia will mark Sept. 19 as a provincial holiday in honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral service, according to a press release.

This means Nova Scotia government offices, public schools and regulated child care will be closed, while healthcare services, appointments and procedures will remain operational across the province, it states.

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Sources told Global News on Tuesday that Ontario will not have a provincial holiday.

Premier Doug Ford said Ontario will instead have “a provincial day of mourning”— a moment of silence at 1 p.m. on Sept. 19 when the queen’s state funeral will be held in London.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island officials confirmed workers in that province will get a one-time statutory holiday.

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Quebec has already said workers will not get a day off —Premier François Legault said shortly after the Trudeau announcement that he will not be implementing a provincial holiday and plans to continue campaigning in the provincial election.


Saskatchewan has proclaimed Sept. 19 to be a day to honour the queen, but it has not been designated as a provincial public statutory holiday, according to the provincial government’s press release.

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Premier Scott Moe said the province will pay tribute to the queen and commemorate her 70-year reign with a memorial service in Regina.


Yukon announced on Wednesday that the territory will be observing a national day of mourning for the queen as a one-time holiday for territorial public sector employees, according to a press release by the Government of Yukon.

While public schools and other public-facing services will be closed on Sept. 19, Yukon stated that private sector employers and organizations and other levels of government are “encouraged to observe the National Day of Mourning in ways that are suitable for their employees and operations.”

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The Canadian Federation of Independent Business issued a statement urging provincial governments not to declare Monday to be a holiday, saying that the six-day notice would be “deeply unfair for small businesses and cost the economy billions.”

“For many small businesses, such as restaurants, hotels and movie theatres, this would mean paying more in order to stay open,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly in the statement.

“Small businesses are already struggling with labour shortages and requiring them to close or pay time and a half to their employees with no notice would be extremely costly or result in a day’s lost productivity.”


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