No stat holiday in Alberta on Monday for ‘day of mourning’ over Queen’s death

Click to play video: 'People gather in Edmonton for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral'
People gather in Edmonton for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral
From waking up in the middle of the night to watch the funeral live to attending public ceremonies at the Alberta legislature and at legions in Edmonton, people gathered Monday to say farewell to Queen Elizabeth II. Morgan Black and Breanna Karstens-Smith have team coverage on the noon news. – Sep 19, 2022

Alberta has followed the federal government’s lead and declared Monday, Sept. 19 a provincial day of mourning “in solemn recognition of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”

However, it will not be treated as a statutory holiday.

On Monday, the prime minister announced Canada will observe a national day of mourning on Sept. 19. 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,” Justin Trudeau said Tuesday.

“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.”

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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.”

Click to play video: 'Canada declares federal holiday on Sept. 19 to mark Queen’s state funeral'
Canada declares federal holiday on Sept. 19 to mark Queen’s state funeral

“I think the best case scenario would be if the government were to declare it a commemorative or ceremonial holiday and leave it up to employers as to whether they want to close or provide employees with a day off,” Kathleen Cook with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business said Tuesday.

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“We found out that it’s really only going to apply to federal government workers so it’s not going to apply to federal workers in general,” said Karen Tereposky, a Calgary-based labour and employment lawyer with Samfiru Tumarkin LLP.

“As far as provinces, it’s sort of been left, at this point, for each province to decide if they’re going to have it apply to their workers.

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“Since provincial responsibility is over employment, the federal government can’t tell the provinces what to do in that regard,” Tereposky said.

In Alberta, 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.

Click to play video: 'No stat holiday in Alberta, but a day of mourning Monday in honour of the Queen'
No stat holiday in Alberta, but a day of mourning Monday in honour of the Queen

“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.

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“Schools will be encouraged to offer opportunities for students to take part in the day of mourning.

Members of the public can also sign books of condolence at the Alberta legislature and other provincial buildings until 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept.18 and online until noon on Monday, Sept. 19.

“Albertans, Canadians and the peoples of the Commonwealth will join together on this day in sorrow to mourn the death of Her late Majesty and to commemorate her long and faithful service,” Premier Jason Kenney said in a news release. “I sincerely hope that Albertans find some time on this day to honour the remarkable life of Queen Elizabeth II and I strongly encourage employers and schools to appropriately mark this sombre and historic occasion.”

Federal Building at the Alberta legislature to be officially renamed the Queen Elizabeth II Building. Sept. 15, 2022. Global News

The provincial government announced Thursday it will rename the Federal Building, located on the northeast corner of the Alberta legislature grounds, the Queen Elizabeth II Building.

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A short ceremony will take place on Sept. 27 to mark the official naming.

Click to play video: 'Issues with the Federal Building'
Issues with the Federal Building

The building was designed in the 1930s for the Government of Canada. It housed federal staff from 1958 to 1988, when its occupants moved to Canada Place downtown. It was empty from 1988 to 2010, when the Alberta government began redeveloping it as offices for MLAs and government staff. The first of more than 600 people began working in the building in February 2015.

The Federal Building was supposed to be renamed to honour the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Alberta received consent from Buckingham Palace in early August to rename it.

City of Edmonton

The City of Edmonton says all city services will be operating as usual at full capacity on Sept. 19.

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In a news release, the city said it’s aligning with the provincial government’s decision and “city workplaces and services will continue on regular schedules.”

However, the city said it has postponed some planned celebrations in order to honour the official mourning period, which ends at sundown on the day of the funeral.

Flags will be raised at sunset on Sept. 19. The Walterdale and High Level Bridges and other city buildings will continue to be lit purple in honour of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday evening.

City of Calgary

The City of Calgary is inviting people to the Municipal Building at 800 Macleod Trail SE on Monday at 9 a.m. To watch Canada’s commemorative ceremony at Ottawa’s Christ Church Cathedral.

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At 10 a.m., the Alberta ceremony will be shown.

As part of a national initiative, several Calgary landmarks will be illuminated a royal blue hue, including Olympic Plaza, Reconciliation Bridge and Calgary Tower.

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