Ontario will not have a provincial holiday on Monday to mark the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
Premier Doug Ford said Ontario will mark Sept. 19 — the day of the Queen’s funeral in London — “as a provincial day of mourning in lieu of a provincial holiday.”
“The people of Ontario may observe a moment of silence at 1 p.m. on that day,” Ford said.
“This will give all Ontarians an opportunity to reflect on the remarkable life of Queen Elizabeth II and her unrelenting commitment to service and duty. It also allows students to be in school learning about the many contributions the Queen made to the people of Ontario, Canada, and the entire Commonwealth, as well as the accession of King Charles III.
“We encourage all Ontarians to use this day to honour Her Majesty and pay tribute to the extraordinary legacy she leaves behind.”
Sources confirmed to Global News shortly before the official announcement was made that the government had decided against a provincial holiday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier Tuesday that the country will mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II with a national holiday on Monday.
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.
He said it would only be for “federal government employees.”
“Federally regulated employers are welcomed to follow suit, but they are not required to do so,” he said.
Trudeau said discussions were underway with the provinces, which make their own decisions about whether to grant provincial holidays in tandem with federal ones.
Global News learned that Ontario officials met Tuesday afternoon to decide whether or not they would recognize the holiday for provincially regulated workers.
If the province had declared Monday a holiday, it would’ve meant that more workers got the day off and schools may have been be closed.
Sources told Global News the government was concerned about the cancellation of scheduled court cases in the event of a provincial holiday, as well as aligning school closures with other provincially regulated workplaces.
A source said Ford was also meeting with other premiers to possibly make a joint decision, but it appears provinces are taking different approaches.
Provincial governments across Atlantic Canada have declared holidays in honour of the funeral service on Monday.
Quebec, meanwhile, has said that provincially regulated employees will not get the day off.
The president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), Dan Kelly, called on provincial governments to not declare a holiday.
“Given it would allow only six days notice & cost the economy billions, CFIB is urging provincial governments to NOT declare next Monday as a statutory (paid) holiday,” he said.
— With files from Eric Stober, Amanda Connolly, Silas Brown and The Canadian Press